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BLAIRSVILLE: Tentative budget holds line on taxes

by SAM KUSIC on November 20, 2013 10:50 AM

BLAIRSVILLE — Blairsville Borough council adopted a tentative budget on Tuesday, holding the line on taxes and spending.

The 2014 budget projects $1.75 million in expenses, up $5,000 over this year. Borough manager Tim Evans said the slight increase is being driven by rising costs of administrative insurance policies, such as for liability.

Expenses, however, are in line with projected revenues.

The borough’s property tax rate is 24 mills. Each mill generates roughly $19,583.

Council adopted the tentative budget on a unanimous vote. It did so without comment.

Also Tuesday night, Evans asked council for guidance on proposed amendments to an ordinance prohibiting residents from keeping livestock at their homes.

Council is being asked to examine the ordinance on a request from a resident who wants to keep a pot-bellied pig as a pet. Some people, in fact, keep those types of pigs as pets. They are intelligent, trainable and hypo-allergenic, Evans said. They also are used to sniff out truffles in the wild.

Evans said he has done some research into how other municipalities have regulated the keeping of pot-bellied pigs. Some, he said, have established licensing programs. Others have set general rules that require they be kept inside, immunized and have their tusks removed.

Council Vice President Ron Evanko suggested that the resident be required to seek permission from her neighbors before getting the pig.

Council didn’t raise any specific objections to amending the ordinance.

“If you keep a pig in your house, that’s your business,” said Councilwoman Carolyn Smith.

Council intends to seek public comment on the matter during its December meeting.

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