HERMITAGE — The city will move forward with road improvements in the city’s older neighborhoods, despite another year without a property tax increase. 

Members of the Hermitage Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the 2021 budget Wednesday, marking the 30th straight year without a property tax increase. 

General fund spending, and revenue, will increase 4.8 percent, from an estimated $13,696,417 to $14,361,654. 

Hermitage’s property tax rate will remain at $5 per $1,000 of valuation. That means the owner of a home assessed at $30,400 will pay $152 in property taxes. Assessments are based on property values in 1970, the last time Mercer County underwent a reassessment.

The budget includes paving part of Michael Lane and all of Armand Avenue, as part of the city’s Neighborhood Investment Program. That program is upgrading roads in Hermitage’s older neighborhoods. 

The city will pave King Drive, east of South Buhl Farm Drive, using Community Development Block Grant funds; it also will pave Donna Drive, Homewood Avenue, and additional area streets, using capital construction funds. 

Other budget expenses in 2021 include a large truck for the street department, two new police cruisers, new computers in the planning department, and new tasers in the police department. 

In other business, Hermitage commissioners unanimously approved refinancing a 2016 bond issue for the Hermitage Municipal Authority, which could save about $500,000.   

The authority plans to do about $1.5 million in capital projects. Among them: Expanding the municipal sewer system to South Neshannock Road and Virginia Road, constructing a holding area for bulk food waste, and installing batteries at the authority’s plant, officially known as the Food Waste to Energy and Wastewater Reclamation Facility in Hermitage.

Like David L. Dye on Facebook or email him at ddye@sharonherald.com.

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