New Castle News

November 14, 2013

Mahoning’s new building won’t require tax hike

Mary Grzebieniak
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Mahoning’s proposed budget for 2014 includes $2 million for a new township building.

And an anticipated windfall from gas drilling means taxpayers will not have to foot the bill for the structure.

Supervisor Gary Pezzuolo said the money will come from royalties on gas wells on township property as well as the $50,000 in wages and benefits saved by the retirement of a road worker who will not be replaced.

The township expects to begin receiving monthly royalties soon for more than 50 acres it has leased for gas drilling.

Pezzuolo said if these funds come up short, the supervisors will consider the possibility of a tax increase in 2015.

He added they expect to let the project out for bid in March.

Last month, the supervisors announced they plan to build an 8,300-square-foot handicapped-accessible structure which will include a meeting room, office space, restrooms and a six-bay garage.

It will replace the current township building that the supervisors said cannot be fixed.

In October, the supervisors moved their monthly meeting from the community center to the township building next door on Route 224, to show residents the poor condition of that structure. The supervisors pointed out how leaks have damaged the roof to the point where it could cave in at any time. Water also has damaged the electric lights, they said, and the building is drafty resulting in high heating bills.

At a special meeting Wednesday, the supervisors authorized advertising the proposed budget. It will be available for public inspection at the township offices until final action is taken, which will be scheduled for the second week of December.

The proposed operating budget is $3.3 million, which includes the anticipated funds for the building. This year’s general fund budget is $1.3 million.