By Tom Smith
South Pittsburgh Reporter Editor 

No real estate tax increase for 2022 in Mt. Oliver Boro


Last updated 12/2/2021 at 6:24pm

There will be no increase in the Real Estate tax for Mt. Oliver Borough for 2022.

At the November public meeting of the Mt. Oliver Borough Council, the council adopted the 2022 Fee Schedule with several increases, but there will be no hike in the real estate tax.

Fees going up for 2022 include: Ambulance service will increase from $40 to $45; Trash collection will increase from $164 to $168; and, while the Borough isn't raising its portion of the sewage charge, ALCOSAN will increase the rate 7% from $9.10 to $9.73 per 1,000 gallons.

Also adopted for 2022 were the Salary and Wage Schedule; Police Pension Member Contributions; Tax Levy Ordinance; and, Allocating State Aid Received for Pension Funds.

While on the agenda, the council chose to delay discussion on the 2022 Budget until Monday, Dec. 13. Councilman Aaron Graham noted "there's a lot of good stuff in there" and asked Borough Manager Rick Hopkinson to be available to talk about any priorities in the budget.

Councilman Paul Doyle asked to put speed bumps or humps on a future agenda to discuss. He said he has spoken with public works employees in the borough and in the City of Pittsburgh and they told him their snow plows don't travel fast enough to be damaged by the humps.

Councilman Nick Viglione said he has heard reports the speed humps are slowing down response times for public safety vehicles. Council President Amber McGough noted she has also heard mixed things about them also, but that "it was worth discussing."

"We can definitely discuss it, see what the cost is and see what everybody wants to do and go from there," Ms. McGough added.

Councilwoman Tina Reft asked for more information on the use of a new vehicle speed recording device in the borough. Police Chief Matt Juzwick explained the device can record how many cars travel a particular street, their speed and can be broken down to days of the week, hours and time of day.

He added in the first two weeks of monitoring Church Avenue, only one vehicle reached a speed of 41mph, "which is fast for Church Avenue."

Chief Juzwick said he is still learning the capabilities of the machine. He expects to move it to different locations throughout the borough.

The chief also noted he turned off the display on the machine so people wouldn't try to see how fast they could go on a street, but it still registers the speed they were traveling.

Mayor Frank Bernadini said he would go to Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala's office and request a second machine if the chief thought it would be useful. Chief Juzwick said currently they don't have the resources to move the machine around the borough as much as they would like, but would use another one if it was available.

Councilman Graham noted that over the last several months, officers in the borough directed an investigation in which 45 controlled narcotic buys were conducted resulting in 45 warrants for dealers. Over a recent weekend, 20 warrants were served with the assistance of state constables and $90,000 in heroin, $23,000 in cocaine, nine firearms and one set of body armor was seized.

He asked if Chief Juzwick could add any details about the investigation.

The chief said the officers "did a fantastic job." The arrests totaled 47 and all the arrest warrants had been served except two or three.

"Unfortunately, they don't stay in jail very long. Half of them were at the police station looking for some of their property before we were done for the day. So, we pick them up in the morning and they're out by noon," Chief Juzwick said. "We do the first part, the justice system takes over for the second part."

Mayor Bernardini said if they were able to do this every week or every couple of weeks, maybe they would be able to clean up not only here, but the surrounding areas also.

"If anyone has a complaint about the police department, code enforcement, public safety or anything else concerning this administration here. I've told people numerous times, there are complaint forms here," the mayor said. "Don't go speaking out to me while I'm at Shop 'n' Save or having a cup of coffee. Come here at 7:30 to voice your complaints. If council doesn't know what the problem is, they can't solve it."

Under Questions and Answers, Bhoop Schrawat, owner of the Family Dollar building on Hays Avenue said the Rite Aid has been using his parking lot for 22 years without an easement. He said there has been a court case recognizing the lack of a legal easement.

Mr. Schrawat's property includes the entrance to the parking lot and the property against his building while the Rite Aid's property is only against their building.

Ms. McGough said it was an ongoing open issue and she didn't have an answer for him that evening.

Following the meeting, Mr. Hopkinson said Mr. Schrawat had requested a permit to put up a fence on his property in the parking lot. The borough is researching the ordinances at the time of his purchasing the property to see what was permitted at the time before issuing the fence permit.


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