Cranberry supervisors approve budget that holds taxes at current levels

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Cranberry Supervisors gave unanimous approval Wednesday night to a 2014 spending plan that holds the property tax rate at its current level.

Manager Jerry Andree said current revenues, totaling about $40 million, will cover projected expenses for the coming year.

While the current property tax rate will remain at 13 mills, supervisors approved in August a sewage rate increase of $1.49 per 1,000 gallons of water used during a monthly billing period to the current rate of $7.16 per 1,000 gallons. Another sewage rate increase could come in 2014, depending on the final design for an upgrade to the Brushcreek sewage treatment plant on Powell Road.

The last property tax increase occurred in 2012 when the rate went from 10.65 to 13 mills. The increase was used to fund the fire department, the library and capital projects. The township apportions 2.12 mills to the fire department; 1 mill to the library; 1 mill to a public buildings fund; 0.85 mills to a road maintenance equipment fund; and the remainder into the general fund.

The township employs 125 full-timers plus another 100 part-timers year-round (with that number swelling by another 80 or so in the summer.) No new hires are planned for 2014.

Major projects for the coming year will include replacement of the heating, air conditioning and ventilation system, installation of a new roof on the municipal center, and renovation of the former police department space and expansion of the library. Together, the work will cost about $3 million, which will be paid for through a bond issue that was floated three years ago.

Also planned is a $1.2 million improvement project at the North Boundary Park swimming pool where either a baby pool will be built or the existing zero-depth-entry area of the pool - an area intended for children - will be expanded.

Karen Kane: or at 724-772-9180.

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