By Chadwick Dolgos
President Robb Cardimen delivered his annual “State of the Borough” address during the final Coraopolis council meeting of 2020 on Dec. 9.
During the address, delivered to an empty room because of COVID-19 precautions, Cardimen highlighted the successes Coraopolis achieved during the past year, despite the pandemic. These successes include no tax increase, expanding digital outreach, managing a successful protest and providing resources to the borough’s first responders.
Council unanimously approved setting the millage for 2021 at 12.5 mills.
“To have this many years with no tax increase is remarkable,” said Solicitor Richard Start. “Other municipalities are struggling; they’re raising taxes and imposing burdens on taxpayers and residents.”
The last time Coraopolis raised taxes was six years ago in 2014, according to Borough Manager Raymond McCutcheon.
The Coraopolis Council has expanded digital outreach to include Facebook, Instagram and the Savvy Citizen system over the year, headed by Councilman Chad Kraynyk.
Savvy Citizen is a calendar and communication system that allows local governments to relay important information and dates to their residents. Kraynyk informed council the borough is now up to 334 subscribers.
“That’s about 53 more than the last update I provided, so we continue to expand our reach with Savvy Citizen,” he said.
In June, a Black Lives Matter protest was held in Coraopolis as a response to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“We had a protest in town over the summer that was managed extremely well,” Cardimen said.
The borough also settled a contract with the Coraopolis Police Department for another four years.
“We purchased all of our police officers body cameras for their safety,” said Cardimen. “We also purchased two new police cruisers.”
One of the police cruisers purchased was by a state grant through Rep. Anita Kulik’s office. The second was purchased out of Coraopolis’s general fund budget.
Additionally, the borough purchased a new fire engine for the Coraopolis Volunteer Fire Department at a cost of $580,000.
Other successes Cardimen outlined included 80 LED lights being installed as a result of a Duquesne Light program, roadwork completion, the purchase of two pickup trucks for the public works department, and trails in the area cleared and ready for public use.