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Two Ross Commissioners Express Frustration Over Road Paving Plan

Commissioners David J. Mikec and Daniel DeMarco indicate they don't think the township is spending enough to pave its roads.

Ross Township Commissioners voted 8-1 Monday to advertise and receive bids for its 2013 road-paving project.

Commissioner David J. Mikec voted no, telling his fellow board members the township needs to invest more in road maintenance.

"I think it falls short of what we need," Mikec said. "Based on prior budgets that this board put out in the last few years, we've become increasingly behind the ball and not meeting the standards."

The township budgeted approximately $1-million for paving in 2013. Public works director Mike Funk comes up with a priority list of which roads would be paved first, explaining that it would take five years to get to every road on the list.

One avenue on the list, in particular, caught Mikec's attention.

"I passed around photos of a road in the 6th ward, Forest Avenue, which is in deplorable condition. It's 32nd on the list," he said. "If we have 31 roads in this township in worse conditions than that I think we really need to make a step forward and I can't with a clear conscious vote for this year's paving program just because of its shortcomings."

Funk appeared to share Mikec's frustration.

"Most of the roads on this list were on the list last year," he said. “Any list I give you will be arbitrary, everybody sees things differently.”

Prior to the vote, Commissioner Daniel DeMarco chided his colleagues for being afraid to raise taxes to improve the roads.

"When I was up for re-election two years ago, I was out campaigning, and that was the year we raised taxes, I did not have one person complain to me about the fact that the township raised taxes," he said. "You know why? Because they realized that it had to be done and they were getting the services they were entitled to and that we're obligated to provide."

Tell us what you think. Would you support a tax increase to have more Ross Township roads paved each year? Which roads do you think should be a priority for this year? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.

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Jose March 06, 2013 at 02:17 PM
No one complained to Demarco about the tax increase 2 years ago so OK then lets raise txes again, even though our school property and township taxes and country taxes have all gone up , not to mention the new 2% increase in social security taxes. All these increases taking away more and more for us each day. So given the latest 2013 assessment the township is receiving much more tax revenue than 2 years ago, but this is still not enough for them, they want to just keep raising more. These career politicians even at the local level just don't get it. Demarco also said the residents realized it had to be done to get the services they were entitled to, so are we getting those services? I do not think so, we are getting services them in the form of mis-managament and lack of maintenance on our maintenance garage which will need to be rebuilt or partly reconstructed, what is that going to cost the tax payers or has already. All they want is more money from us to waste. Why don't they look at ways to save instead of always just reaching into the tax payers pocket book? Its time to vote out any incumbent and start over and get people in there with common sense.
AnonymousNorthHills March 06, 2013 at 03:33 PM
It is sad that they built the Casino to alleviate taxes. Where is that money? Las Vegas has low taxes because of their casino's. There is a lot of waste in goverment just look at all the government vehicles that Corbett was supposed to cut. Hmmm. I do not see that happening. The people in government refuse to give up the perks as it is an entitlement at a cost to tax payers. Not to mention all the inbreeding with contract work and government worker(use that term loosely).
B Concerned March 06, 2013 at 03:46 PM
Agreed, I am just generally fed up with government in general. Same ol crap. We need people we can really get behind at all levels of government.
Dan DeMarco March 06, 2013 at 03:57 PM
Yes, sir. No one complained. Your allegations are unfounded. Ross Township had not raised taxes in close to 20 years when they were raised 2 years ago. Do you think you could live on the same revenue you lived on 20 years ago? Ross Township has no authority to tell private vendors and suppliers to keep the price of their goods and services the same as they were 20 years ago. Ross Township is extremely well managed. Explain to me your facts to the contrary. It is easy to criticize from the outside. Do some research before making claims that are not true.
B Concerned March 06, 2013 at 03:58 PM
That is right. What about the casino revenue? Havent heard about that in a while or have seen a benefit from that promise. I wonder where the revenue from all the recycled materials goes? Hopefully back into the system, else I can recycle my own materials for a profit.
Jose March 06, 2013 at 05:54 PM
Mr Demarco, What is not true about my posting, that there is more and more money being taken away from the tax payer in taxes from every level of government or that with the new assesment values that the taxpayer did get a tax increase which in turn makes all property owners in ross township whose assesments went up to pay more taxes that are based off of this assesment. The fact that the increased assesmnet values resulted or will result t int he tax revenue the township receieves compared to 2 years ago to go up. So the Ross township property owner is paying more taxes, even though "the township has not raised taxes in over 20 years". That is symantics. Also was not the maintenance garage damaged due to lack of proper maintenance that we the tax payers have been paying for a stop gap measure until it can be repaired and or replaced? We all have seen numerous stores on this web site reagrding that debacle. I do not cirtize from the outside I am a township taxpayer there I am on the inside, why don't we look for logical ways to reduce our speding instead of always asking for more from the taxpayer, as tax payer well is going dry, I will admitt not just from the township but from all levels of government.
North Hills Hooligan March 06, 2013 at 06:41 PM
Lets see... I am looking at my local tax bill.. for about $1.10 a day I get the following from Ross Township: 1) A great park & rec program... 2) A great Community Center.... 3) One of the best police departments around... 4) Some of the bravest firemen.... 5) An ambulance to get to my house in minutes... 6) Paved roads... 7) Free mulch... 8) An outstanding public works group who was out all night last night removing snow. I will just stop there.... what a heck of a deal all for $1.10 a day! You wan too stop the tax injustice?? Look at the school districts uncontrolled spending.. Look at the county... do we need to spend MILLIONS on half the duplicated services??
Jose March 06, 2013 at 06:53 PM
so you pay 387 a year in taxes to the township, then you do not own a house in Ross, I am assuming you are simply talking about local wage tax and not property tax that goes to the township. So yes maybe you are happy. I completely agree with your other comments regarding school etc, but we have to start someone where why not at the local level to try to get our representative to see the answer is not higher taxes, as if they raised taxes most likely yours would not even go up since it would probably be a milliage increase on proprerty and not a wage tax increase. Ross is a good place to live that is why I live here, but if things continue from all levels of government I will be forced to move because of the over taxation as I cannot afford this much more. There is plenty that can be done to reduce spending but I do not hink they are looking at it much.

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