Commissioners unanimously adopted an ordinance Jan. 9 setting the real estate tax for 2013 at 2.73 mills, which is a 22 percent reduction from the 3.5 millage rate of the past few years.
Board President Robert Schuler, however, indicated that assessment increases on properties in the township will offset the rate reduction. Collier's tax bills will be mailed to residents in June.
• Goehring Rutter & Boehm, Downtown, was unanimously appointed solicitor for this year, and Lennon, Smith, Souleret Engineering Inc. of Coraopolis was unanimously appointed engineer. Valerie Salla was named the township's Right To Know officer.
Also, Edward Smith was named to a five-year term on the Collier Township Municipal Authority, and Lynn Heckman and Elizabeth Chamberlin were appointed to five-year terms on the parks and recreation board. Ray Ford was named to a five-year term on the zoning hearing board.
• Modifications for the 36-unit Nevilleside planned residential development were approved as was Kossman Development's preliminary and final major land development application to expand Unit G at Chartiers Valley Shopping Center. Besides a stormwater maintenance agreement and an erosion control plan, the commissioners added a request that the developer design a walkway for pedestrian circulation.
• Manager Sal Sirabella noted that the solar roof on the public works garage is complete and will be turned on when the weather gets warmer.
A new township website is expected to be unveiled early next month.
Council voted unanimously to retain Lennon, Smith, Souleret Engineering Inc. of Coraopolis as engineers; Richard F. Start. of Damian Amato & Start of Sewickley as solicitor; and Mark Turnley, certified public accountant, as auditor.
Council President John Pessy was appointed director of the water and sewer authority for a five-year term. Robert Barone was appointed hearing officer for the zoning hearing board for a 3-year term.
Council's meeting times and dates remain unchanged. The workshop meetings will be at 7 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month in the conference room of the municipal building. The business meetings will be at 7 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month in council chambers on the second floor of the municipal building.
Supervisors voted Jan. 9 to require Marcellus Shale-related firm MarkWest Energy to bond one mile of Sunnyhill Road for $12,500, plus agree to be responsible for repairing and replacing the road due to damage from truck traffic.
MarkWest trucks will exit Robinson, Washington County, on rural Sunnyhill Road, and also travel on Clinton-Frankfurt Road and Route 30, township Manager Gary Klingman said.
"We need to try to make sure that [Sunnyhill Road] gets repaved as necessary, that it gets repaired as necessary, and that ultimately, at the end of the day when they leave, people will have a decent road to continue to use without fail," Mr. Klingman said.
The trucks will be hauling materials to build part of a natural gas pipeline at the western border of Findlay, near Independence, Beaver County, with the entire pipeline running from Washington County to the planned Shell cracker plant in Beaver County, he said.
• The township this summer will spend $210,000 to mill and overlay ParkWest Drive, from Cliff Mine Road to Industry Drive in RIDC Park West.
The project is part of this year's $10.58 million budget approved Dec. 27. The figure includes $9.4 million in operating costs and $1.18 million in capital improvements such as the purchase of a $100,000 generator for the municipal building and construction of a $155,000 park pavilion with restroom.
The millage rate will be set at least 30 days before tax bills go out April 1, manager Gary Klingman said. Last year's property tax rate was 1.95 mills.
The budget anticipates $111,000 in new building permits this year plus an increase of $606,000 -- or 67 percent -- in earned income taxes due to job additions.
The borough's new police chief is officially on duty.
Robert Downey Jr. was sworn into office at 10 a.m. Tuesday by Mayor Charles Hammer.
A 32-year law enforcement veteran, Chief Downey most recently was the police chief/director of public safety for California University of Pennsylvania. He also served in a similar capacity at Slippery Rock University and was with the Allegheny County Police Department before that.
Chief Downey, 56, who is an elected commissioner in Baldwin Township, said he looks forward to returning to municipal policing.
"My primary goal is to provide a highly professional, effective and quality police force to the residents, businesses and visitors of Green Tree Borough and to maintain the high quality of community service that is expected of our department," he said.
A public installation ceremony for Chief Downey will take at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 during council's meeting in the municipal center.
Council authorized the seventh and final payment of $17,198 to U&S Construction for work on the Hickory Street storm sewer system project at its Jan. 8 meeting.
Councilwoman Maribeth Taylor said the project was needed to address flooding problems on Hickory Street and said she was pleased the project is completed.
Jeanne Creese was reappointed Jan. 9 as manager, secretary and treasurer with an annual salary of $91,504. She was hired as an interim manager in November 2008 and became manager in March 2009.
• Supervisors have created a seven-member Traffic Impact Fee Advisory Committee to study and develop a transportation impact fee ordinance.
The committee will develop land use assumptions, conduct roadway sufficiency analysis studies and make recommendations regarding the development of road improvements, capital improvements and impact fees.
The initial appointments are Sam DiCicco, Lynn DeLorenzo, Fran Matten, Zelik Ratchkauskas and Tom Weaver. Each member will serve a maximum of two years. Applicants are being accepted for the remaining two seats. To apply: 412-262-1700 or www.moontwp.com.neigh_west