Commissioners address sundry matters

February 28, 2013

County commissioners Larry Maggi, Diana Irey Vaughan and Harlan Shober Jr. addressed subjects other than economic development Thursday during the Washington County Chamber of Commerce’s monthly breakfast meeting at Southpointe Golf Club.

Chamber president Jeff Kotula and audience members questioned them on a variety of matters.

The commissioners are opposed to the court-ordered reassessment for the county, and will take their protest to the state Supreme Court March 20.

“It’s a bad law at the state level,” Maggi said. “We’ll be trying to get the process changed, the law changed.

“Look north at Allegheny County and see what a fiasco it is. It will cost $6 million to $8 million to fix the system and it will be outdated in a year.”

Irey Vaughan added that, “We’re fighting reassessment because we want to keep taxes low and keep this an attractice area.”

Kotula brought up the Local Share Account program, funded by gambling revenues from the Meadows Racetrack & Casino and used to benefit projects countywide. He asked the commissioners to name projects of which they are most proud.

“I think all of the projects have been highlights,” Shober said. “The fact we’re talking about (LSA funding) is a highlight.

“I think about a grant that went to preserve a small school church building in Jefferson Township, in Eldersville. But every community is important. Each has a worthy project.”

Irey Vaughan said, “This has boosted the Washington County economy and increased jobs. We’ve been very appreciative of The Meadows and what this program has done. It has helped keep the tax rate low in Washington County.”

“(The LSA program),” Maggi said, “helps communities with water and sewage projects. That use is very satisfying.”

One audience member asked about the long-speculated arrival of a Bass Pro store adjacent to Tanger Outlets in South Strabane Township.

“We’re still talking on Bass Pro,” Maggi said. “It’s still alive.”

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won seven individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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