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NEWLY ELECTED OFFICIALS SWORN IN

The 2019 Budget was adopted by Etna Borough Council at their December 18, 2018 meeting. Unfortunately, 2018 did not fare as well as previous years; several costly repairs occurred for storm and sanitary sewers, a landslide, and a bridge closing. The Borough received a $250,000 grant for the bridge rehabilitation which will begin in early spring, but must cover all engineering and inspection costs. Council raised property taxes by 0.75 of a mil. For a home assessed at $50,000, the increase is $37.50 a year. For a home assessed at $100,000, the increase is $75.00 a year.

The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) raised their rates 7%. The new rate for sewage usage is $11.97 per 1000 gallons of water used. The new rate for environmental services is $17.82. Sewer rates are billed to the Borough, so increases are passed on to the consumer.

The rates for refuse collection were also increased by contract with our hauler, Waste Management. 2019 rates will be $240 yearly; seniors receive a discounted rate of $216 per year.

The 2019 budget totals $4,049,450.00 and is expanded as follows:

Administration and Tax Collection

$332,909.00

9%

Sewage Collection, Conveyance & Treatment

$727,744.00

18%

Borough Property

$ 22,484.00

1%

Public Works

$572,113.00

14%

Police

$711,814.00

17%

Recreation

$136,905.00

4%

Fire

$126,354.00

3%

Miscellaneous:

$673,546.00

15%

Health & Sanitation (includes demolition, blight, etc.)

$ 14,136.00

1%

Debt Services (includes Bond Issue)

$364,850.00

9%

Refuse Collection

$366,600.00

9%

*Miscellaneous includes Health Benefits, Social Security, Medicare, Liability Insurance, Workmen’s Compensation, Unemployment Taxes, Flood Insurance, etc.

In November, Etna Borough adopted a new Stormwater Management Ordinance, as required by Allegheny County’s new Act 167 Plan. This ordinance requires new development and redevelopment to effectively deal with stormwater generated on-lot and prohibits an increase in stormwater runoff from development and redevelopment. This ordinance also regulates other activities that can increase stormwater runoff, including property grading.

The Borough also adopted a new zoning ordinance. While our previous ordinance had only been adopted in 2015, the Borough felt it necessary to improve upon that ordinance. The new ordinance includes regulations for urban agriculture and how to deal with that in our densely populated urban area.  This includes regulations for beekeeping, chickens and other agriculture activities such as farm markets and urban farming. Both ordinances are located on the Borough’s website, www.etnaborough.org under the information section. The Stormwater ordinance is also located on the stormwater page. If you have questions regarding either ordinance and how it may affect construction on your property that you are contemplating, contact Code Enforcement and Zoning Officer, Bob Snyder at the Borough Office, Tuesday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It is best to check PRIOR to finalizing any construction plans that you may have.

Etna received word that they were the recipient of an Air Quality Project grant in the amount of $50,000.00 from the Allegheny County Health Department. The funds will be used to purchase trees that will be planted at various locations throughout the Borough, including the Clarence Fugh Memorial Park, along State Routes 8 and 28, our railroad corridors and Butler Street.  We will partner with Tree Pittsburgh to choose the appropriate tree species for locations.  Planting trees throughout the borough will improve air quality for residents, businesses and visitors to our town.  We are bordered by two state highway systems and two rail corridors which generate pollution.  These trees will help reduce this pollution.

Jessica Pfeifer was appointed and sworn in as the newest Junior Council Member for Etna Borough in November 2018. Jessica is a junior at Shaler Area High School and is a certified lifeguard at the Borough swimming pool during the summer months. She has volunteered her time at the Garden of Etna and the former Saint Vincent DePaul Society in Sharpsburg. She will serve until her graduation in June 2020.

Etna Riverfront Park and Trail Update

Plans for the Trail and Park are moving forward and in December, bids were put out through PENNDOT on the first phase of this project. Grant funding received for this first phase was previously awarded through PENNDOT’s Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). In January, Council awarded this phase to the low bidder, Zottolla Construction Company in the amount of $774,000.00. We are hopeful that work can begin sometime in the early spring on this phase, which includes much of the infrastructure for the entire project such as walls, fencing, trail construction and stormwater management. Phase II of the project is currently in design and engineering with the hope that as Phase I finishes up, Phase II will be ready for bid shortly thereafter. In all likelihood, total completion of the project will be early 2020.

The Borough awarded a proposal for the Pine Creek Connector Trail study through grant funding received from the Active Allegheny (Allegheny County) Program. This project is a partnership with the Township of Shaler to undertake a feasibility study of a bike route from Shaler Township Kiwanis Park through Etna to the Etna Riverfront Park and Trail. A joint Steering Committee has been formed and will be meeting in early February. Members of the Steering Committee include Etna Bike/Ped, Bike Walk Shaler, members of both elected bodies, a member from the Etna central business district, Friends of the Riverfront and interested residents. Community wide meetings will be scheduled for this spring for input from our residents. Check the Boroughs Facebook page and website for detailed information as it becomes available and to participate in these meetings! We want to hear from you!

Public Safety Department News

Police Department News

For the 7th consecutive year, the American Automotive Association (AAA) has awarded the Etna Police Department with a Platinum Award for their superior efforts and leadership in improving community safety. Awards are presented at the Commendation, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels.

The Etna/Shaler Bike rodeo will be held on May 18, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kiwanis Park in Shaler Township. Children are encouraged to bring their bicycles as there will be an obstacle course, bicycle inspections and free helmets. Experts will be on hand to fit the helmets properly.

As we begin to experience colder weather, this is a reminder to anyone who owns real estate within the Borough of Etna, whether occupied or vacant, that you are responsible for ensuring that your walkways and sidewalks remain clear of snow and ice. According to Borough Ordinance 1266, snow and ice MUST be removed within 24 hours after snow has ceased to fall or ice has ceased to form. Property owners who do not comply could receive citations with fines of up to $600 per violation in addition to court costs. Also, it is a violation of Pennsylvania State law to throw the removed snow and ice into the roadways.

Property owners also are responsible for ensuring that rubbish and garbage are disposed of properly. According to Borough Ordinance 1265, appropriate trash containers must be used and maintained at all times and no trash container shall be placed at the collection point any earlier than 6:00 p.m. on the day before the designated collection day.  Containers must be removed from the collection point by midnight on the designated day of trash collection.

Borough News

CODE, BUILDING AND ZONING NEWS

An Application for Commercial Registration and Zoning Compliance must be completed by any new business interests before opening such business to insure it is in compliance with Etna zoning ordinances.

We request that you contact Waste Management’s At Your Door Service to schedule a FREE pickup of your old TV at 1-800-449-7587 or www.WMAtYourDoor.com or Email: AtYourDoor@WM.com.

A sidewalk study was conducted last summer that showed an overwhelming need for sidewalk repairs throughout the borough.  It is the responsibility of the property owner to keep their sidewalks in good repair and safe for pedestrian traffic.  It will be a priority of the borough to see that all sidewalks are safe for use by the end of this summer.  Please do your part and make any necessary repairs before a violation letter becomes necessary.

Detached garages will again be a primary focus for the summer months.  Last spring a friendly letter was sent out to garage owners in Ward 1 outlining their maintenance code violations which were in need of attention.   This spring these letters will be sent to property owners in Ward 2 that have detached garages in need of attention.  Having a garage or any accessary structure in disrepair is a violation of the International Property Maintenance Code.  These letters are a prelude to a formal violation letter which will be issued to those who do not take it upon themselves to abate their violations.

Public Works News

As part of our program for keeping debris out of our combined sewer system, this past fall the Etna Public Works Department picked up 19 loads or 76 cubic yards of leaves as part of our leaf pickup program. These leaves are taken to a compost site in North Park as part of Etna Borough’s participation in multi-municipal composting through the North Hills Council of Governments. We congratulate all who participated in this very important program.

The Public works crew makes every attempt to keep the roads clear during snow events. To assist them with this task, there are a few things you can do to make this process more efficient. Please park as close to the curb as possible, and observe any no parking areas marked in yellow. The trucks, when equipped with plows, are difficult to safely navigate the many narrow, hilly streets within our community so if you could keep your side mirrors turned in, that would be a big help to them. Also, when shoveling your sidewalk, it is best to shovel the snow away from the street. Thank you in advance for your patience as they make every attempt to clear all roads as quickly as possible.

Harrisburg News

The Borough would like to welcome newly elected State Representative Sara Innamorato and Senator Lindsay Williams!

Sara Innamorato’s District Office will be located in Lawrenceville at 5154 Butler Street. They are now open for business as their grand opening was January 24th.  The telephone number is 412-781-2750 and email address is repinnamorato@pahouse.net. Her staff will also be available for services and outreach Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ross Community Center.

Senator Williams’ office will be relocating to Ross Township, but right now she is still located in Shaler in Senator Vulakovich’s old office at the Shaler Municipal Building. The office is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are offering AARP Tax Assistance for Senior Citizens and Low-Income families from February 4 through April 11, 2019 at the Shaler Undercliff VFD located at 700 Mt. Royal Boulevard Pittsburgh, PA 15223. This assistance is offered by appointment only Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Contact Senator Williams Office at 412-487-6600 to make an appointment or for any questions.

Reminders From Your Borough Office

Property Owners, ordinance 1091 requires occupancy registration on an annual basis as well as when tenants move in and out of properties. If the property is vacant, we need to know that as well. Accurate occupant information is vital in utility billing and can help you when your properties are vacant as charges are obviously different for vacant properties, but only if timely notification is received by the Borough.

Sidewalks must be cleared of snow and ice within 24 hours of a snowfall or ice storms per borough ordinance.

Garbage cans must not be placed out prior to 6:00 p.m. or dusk the night before trash pickup and must be taken back in by midnight the following day.

Pets must be kept on a leash when being walked and cleaned up after..

Dumping yard waste (fall leaves, etc.) into any of the streams or storm runs located within the community is illegal. Litter tossed on to the local roads can end up in our combined sewer system and cause serious problems to downstream neighbors. Anyone caught draining oil and other liquids from their vehicle into a storm drain will be prosecuted to the fullest extent that the law allows.

Waste Management Holiday Pickups

Scheduled trash pickup dates for 2018 observed Holidays:
Memorial Day Week –Saturday, June 2nd
Independence Day Week –Saturday, July 7th
Labor Day Week –Saturday, September 8th
Thanksgiving Week- Saturday, November 24th
Christmas Week –Saturday, December 29th
New Year’s 2019 Week –Saturday, January 5

Etna Borough Council Meetings, third Tuesday of each month, 7:30 p.m. If you need transportation, please call the Etna Borough Office one week prior to the meeting.

Etna Economic Development Corporation Meetings, second Tuesday each month, 7:00 p.m., Municipal Building.

Etna Planning Commission Meetings, every fourth Thursday, 7:00 p.m., Municipal Building, call in advance for meeting confirmation.

Pride Of Etna Committee Meetings, second Thursday each month, Municipal Building.

Calvert Memorial Food Pantry

The Bread of Life Pantry hours for Calvert Memorial United Presbyterian Church are as follows:

First Wednesday of the month, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Second Wednesday of the month, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Third Wednesday of the month, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

If there are any questions regarding this information, you can contact the Food Bank at 412-
781-3056.

 
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