As progress continues on the Marriott SpringHill Suites hotel on Washington Road, residents should expect occasional closings of Parse Way—the street between Washington Road and the LRT station. Because bad weather can affect the construction schedule, we can’t give you dates, but if you park on Parse Way, use it for a cut through or cross it on your way to the T stop, make sure you have an alternate plan in mind through December.
Stop by Heinz Field on December 11 to see Mt. Lebanon Police Chief Coleman McDonough, Deputy Police Chief Mike Gallagher, Lt. Aaron Lauth and Officer Bill Harbison jump into the Allegheny River as a fundraiser for Special Olympics. Steelers legend Lynn Swann will be master of ceremonies, and there will be a display of police cars and equipment in the morning. They plunge at noon. Visit tinyurl.com/5tvwpp8 to make a donation. When asked if he would do a complete dunk for the cause, McDonough said, “Heck, yeah.” We want pictures.
NO DUMB QUESTIONS
Do you have a municipal question you think is so simple you are embarrassed to ask it? mtl will run No Dumb Questions monthly. Submit questions to email@example.com. Your name will not be included with the question.
Q. The weather channel is predicting a big snowstorm. Can I request overnight parking so I’m not late for work because I’m stuck in my driveway?
A. Sorry, no. Mt. Lebanon parking ordinances states you must exhaust all off-street parking options before requesting on-street parking. We know you don’t feel like shoveling after a long day at work, but think of it this way: if you park on the street, a passing snow plow will probably bury your car anyway. Elderly residents can call Mt. Lebanon High School’s Chore Corps at 412-344-2114 for information about student volunteers who will shovel sidewalks and driveways.
BUDGET HEARING/VOTE DATE CHANGED
At the Monday, November 28th, regular meeting, the Mt. Lebanon Commission decided to change the 2012 budget hearing/vote originally scheduled for December 13 to Tuesday, December 20. The December 13 meeting will be a regular meeting.
After evaluating a number of possible changes to the Manager’s Recommended Budget, the Commission made 10 additions to the 2012 budget, including providing $38,000 in funding for Mt Lebanon’s Centennial Celebration. A complete list of the changes, along with proposed changes that were discussed but did not garner three votes, may be found on Commissioner Dan Miller’s blog, <http://danmillerward5.com/2012-budgethearing-update>
Beginning in 2012, the way earned income tax is collected and paid in Pennsylvania will change as the result of Act 32, a law passed in 2008 with the intention of simplifying the tax collection process. The law will affect taxpayers, employers, municipalities, school districts and tax collectors.
The most significant change of Act 32 is the consolidation of local earned income tax collectors. Act 32 requires all taxing jurisdictions within a specified area to select one tax collector to serve the entire area. Each of the areas is called a “Tax Collection District” (TCD). Mt. Lebanon Municipality and the Mt. Lebanon School District are in the Southwest Allegheny County TCD, along with 64 other taxing bodies. Jordan Tax Service has been appointed as the tax collector for the Southwest Allegheny County TCD. All earned income taxes attributable to 2011 earnings will still be collected by the Mt. Lebanon Tax Office, which will continue to bill for and collect real estate taxes for Mt. Lebanon School District and Mt. Lebanon Municipality.
How will this impact taxpayers?
The municipal (0.8 percent) and the school district (0.5 percent) portions of Mt. Lebanon’s earned income tax will be collected by Jordan Tax Service beginning January 1, 2012.
Under Act 32, all Pennsylvania employers will be required to withhold earned income tax. This will eliminate the need for most taxpayers to make a quarterly earned income tax payment. Taxpayers who are self-employed or work outside of Pennsylvania will continue making manual quarterly payments.
All taxpayers should file a residency certification form with their payroll office. The PSD code for Mt. Lebanon residents is 731201. Employers should supply their employees with these forms. A copy of the residency certification form also is available at www.newpa.com/webfm_send/1933
How will this impact employers?
All employers will be required to withhold local income taxes for all of their employees, regardless of where the employees live. Employers will be responsible for identifying each employee’s residence and proper tax rate and for providing that information to the tax collector quarterly along with the tax payments. Employers that have at least one location within the Southwest Allegheny County TCD must register with Jordan Tax Service and should have received a letter from Jordan and/or Mt. Lebanon explaining the requirements.
How can I learn more?
Visit Jordan Tax Service’s special Act 32 website at: www.jordantax.com/act32 or call 412-835-5243 or 724-731-2300. More information also is available at www.newpa.com (search for “Act 32”).
DUQUESNE LIGHT GRANT HELPS VETERANS MEMORIAL
By the time you read this, Vento Landscaping should have begun work on the long-awaited Veterans Memorial on Morgan Drive in Mt. Lebanon Park. A $220,000 Power of Light Grant from Duquesne Light in addition to more than $180,000 net revenue from a community fund-raising campaign yielded very close to Vento’s $404,598 bid.
The total cost included the base bid (preparation, masonry, flagpole and base) and the electrical alternative (the lights that will be embedded in the wall and fan outward in the ground surrounding the monument).
Initial bids for the project far exceeded the projected amount needed for the memorial, which will honor all who served in the military and give special recognition to those who gave their lives in the service of our country. As a result the memorial was scaled back slightly and rebid, with consideration given to completely eliminating the lighting or completing it at a later date if funds could be raised.
“We are so thankful Duquesne Light recognized our memorial as an important regional project and provided us with the funding that will allow us to light our project properly and retain the integrity of the design,” says Public Information Officer Susan Morgans, who has served as staff liaison to the fund-raising committee and worked with architects Loysen Kreuthmeier to obtain the grant. “The lighting is the most striking and symbolic aspect of the design. As (architect) Peter Kreuthmeier noted, ‘the lighting is the difference between a monument and a pile of stone.’”
Special thanks also go to Commissioner Dan Miller, who worked hard on the project along with fund-raising chairs Rocky Bleier and Dan Gigler, and the many committee members who worked on various initiatives and events over the past year. “From the Veterans Day celebration at Providence Point to the Bucks for Building campaign in the schools, to ‘The Event’ at Andora’s with Dutch VanKirk, to two Brew Fests, to making personal pitches to friends, the committee never lost enthusiasm or lost sight of the goal,” Morgans says. “We are so lucky to have volunteers in this community who step up to the plate when they are asked to help.”
The committee has been disbanded; however, fund-raising will continue through the end of the year to help with the cost of donor recognition and ongoing maintenance. To donate, go to www.mtlebanon.org and click on the flag on the home page.
Dedication of the Veterans Memorial tentatively is planned for Memorial Day 2012.
Thanks to the following people and businesses that have donated to the memorial recently:
Edward and Arlene Grzybowski
Joyce Gannon and Dennis Roddy
Michael and Diane Connor
Gregory and Amy Weston
John and Antoinette McGonigle
Earl and Mary Kohnfelder, Jr.
Mark G. McCague
Robert Doncourt and Regina Niewodowski
Estate of Lou Guzik
(Previous nine donations by friends,
family and neighbors of Lou Guzik)
John and Lee Scott
William J. and Marilyn J. Magnotti
(in memory of William J. Magnotti)
The Fireplace and Patio Place
Jan D. and Jean Hinrichsen