Tax rate unchanged; spending plan OK'd in Cranberry

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Cranberry supervisors have given a unanimous thumbs up to a spending plan for 2013 that holds the line on property taxes and staffing yet continues a capital improvements program that calls for millions in spending.

"It's a plan that supports the same policies and initiatives that have created one of the most desirable communities in which to live, work and play in Pennsylvania,'' said manager Jerry Andree.

A workshop session on the approximate $35 million budget was held Nov. 13, and supervisors have scheduled final adoption for Dec. 13.

Among the projects planned for 2013 from the capital fund are: a sewer interceptor upgrade that will cost $2.1 million; a new water line on Thomson Park Drive with a price tag of $1 million; construction of an $800,000 baby pool at the water park; renovation of the former police station at the Rochester Road municipal center for use as a preschool, costing $1.1 million, with the township's library expanding into the preschool space; replacement of the Route 19 Community Park Playtime Palace, at a cost of $500,000; road and bridge upgrades totaling $1 million; construction of a new emergency services headquarters at the public works complex on Route 19 totaling $1.5 million; design and planning worth $1 million for a new sewage treatment plant expansion.

The township floated a $10 million bond issue last year to cover some of the costs of the capital projects.

Last year, the township increased the property tax rate from 10.65 to 13 mills, which brought additional revenue of about $800,000.

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.

Each mill yields about $340,000.

Mr. Andree reviewed these components of the operations funded by this year's spending:

• Public safety handled 12,579 calls for service; arrested 461 people; underwent 1,446 hours of training; and provided 23,450 hours of volunteer service.

• Public works completed 13 road resurfacing projects on more than 5 miles of roadway; installed three new traffic signals; rebuilt 190 catch basins; and detected and repaired 11 water line leaks.

• A new basketball court was built at the Route 19 Community Park; the Scouting Centennial Plaza was built at Graham Park; the facade of the Rochester Road municipal center was improved; and 30,000 events were hosted on playing fields.

• A total of $139 million in land development projects were initiated or completed; the sewage system was improved with a new pump station and connector totaling $13.7 million; and $8.4 million of transportation work was done.

• For recycling, 3,000 tons of residential refuse was collected plus 4,000 tons of commercial, not including 26,000 pounds of electronic recycling collected during an April event and 31,000 pounds during a September event.

• The township water park hosted 89,507 visitors. Of that total, 968 participated in aquatic programs. The park sold $109,719.92 in concessions.

• The golf course, Cranberry Highlands, set a record with $2,188,302 in total revenue.

• The township issued 560 building permits and collected $1.4 million in transportation impact fees; construction value for the year totaled $145.5 million.

neigh_north

Karen Kane: kkane@post-gazette.com or 724-772-9180.


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