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Municipal News

By Jill Runfola

The first Donora council meeting with the four new officers in place was held on January 11, 2018, at 6 p.m. in the Donora Borough Building.

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Donora Mayor James McDonough praised new council members on their first meeting.

The meeting began with Finance Chairperson Edward Parquette reading the revised proposed 2018 budget, which included a 1.5 mill real estate tax increase. Councilman Gilbert Szakal Jr., and Councilman Dennis Gutierrez opposed the budget, because it’s too much for taxpayers.

Szakal said, “…A 1.5 mill increase on people with fixed incomes is outrageous.” Finance Chairman Parquette said many council members proposed an even larger increase, which he denied. He said, “Nobody got everything they wanted.” However, the budget, currently on display, has not yet been finalized. They will soon approve the final 2018 Donora budget at a special meeting.

Moving on, Szakal welcomed Michele Harris, Code Enforcement Officer, who started with the city on January 2. She commented, “I’m hoping to do a lot of good things.”
Councilman John Conger announced a meeting tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, February 15 in the Borough Social Hall for residents who would like to participate in the Second Street Community Garden. For information about the upcoming date, contact the Borough office at: 724-379-6600.

Regarding a CCAC campus location in Donora, Mayor James McDonough said, “We really don’t have a whole lot of information—nothing new to report. It is disheartening, to say the least. I have spoken with Senator Bartolotta and Rep. Harhai, and will do whatever needs to be done.”

Concerned, Gutierrez said, “We would like to talk with the residents and council about what to do about that building [slated for potential CCAC use]. It is just sitting there wasting money.” The Mayor reassured council

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Donora Finance Chairman Edward Parquette addresses tax concerns.

again he is doing everything he possibly can.

Mayor McDonough concluded, “There will be many things brought out as there was tonight for council. This was their very first meeting, and I applaud the way they handled it.”

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