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SMETHPORT â€“ Outgoing McKean County Commissioner Judy Church said Tuesday that she won't support a 2012 county budget that calls for a half-mill increase in the property tax rate.
The budget proposed last week calls for raising the county property tax rate from 8.25 mills to 8.75 mills.
"Unfortunately, the budget will require a property tax increase," County Commissioners Joe DeMott and Al Pingie said in a statement that accompanies the proposed budget. The tentative spending plan is on public display at the county courthouse in Smethport.
SMETHPORT â€“ "I think it's going to work fine."
That's how McKean County Treasurer Nancy Evans describes a new program on the acceptance of credit and debit cards for payments at the county treasurer's office in Smethport.
Under the new program, the treasurer's office will accept "plastic" for virtually every payment such as county property taxes and per capita tax. The office even will accept credit cards for the purchase of dog licenses, fishing licenses and hunting licenses.
In some cases, a "convenience fee" is added to the payment.
MT. JEWETT â€“ The Mt. Jewett Regional Sewer Authority voted 5-0 Tuesday evening to adopt a 2012 budget that retains the same sewer rates.
Chairman Patrick McGuire joined with authority members Mike Wennerstrom, Larry Ross, Scott Hungiville and Brett Morgan to approve the budget that carries for $139,738 in expenditures. Ron McElroy, the sixth member of the board, did not attend the meeting.
The Kane Borough Council voted 4-3 Monday to adopt a 2012 budget that carries a 3-mill increase in the property tax rate.
Council President Howard Kane joined with Councilwoman Janet Bard and Councilmen Jim Salvamoser and Mike Merry to endorse the tax hike. Councilwoman Holly Harris and Councilmen John Gentilman and Dennis Drost cast the negative votes.
The increase of nearly 28 percent in the tax rate is believed to be one of the highest in Kane history and comes at a time when the area is facing double-digit unemployment and decreasing population.
A two-vehicle traffic accident on Route 6 east of Kane Monday afternoon killed one person and injured five.
One passenger, Bertha M. Ginnery, age 80, died in the crash as Thomas A. Ginnery, age 76, of Oil City, was reportedly driving the green 1995 GMC Safari van.
According to police, the accident involved the van traveling eastbound and a westbound blue 2007 Ford Explorer.
Police said the van "for unknown reasons" crossed the double yellow center lines and entered the westbound lane of travel and into the path of the westbound vehicle.
The Kane School Board again has agreed to stay beneath a state-set limit should it need to raise property taxes for the 2012-13 budget.
Acting at its meeting Thursday, the school board voted 9-0 to go on record in favor of holding a tax hike below 2.6 percent.
This is the state-formulated â€śindexâ€ť for Kane.
By agreeing to stay beneath the â€śindex,â€ť the school board enables the administration to move ahead with budget preparation plans under its normal timetable.
Public opposition appears to be building against what some say is the largest property tax increase ever proposed in the borough of Kane.
One plan discussed Thursday by the Kane Borough Council calls for boosting the tax rate by 4 millsâ€”a 34-percent increase over the current level of 7.875 mills.
OneÂ â€ścompromiseâ€ť plan calls for a 3-mill tax increase and the elimination of a Kane police officer.
Each mill generates about $36,000 in tax revenue.
The next Kane borough budget will carry a tax rate increase, but it will be higher than the 1.5-mill hike called for in the tentative spending plan adopted last month.
How much higher?
The answer should be given Monday when the Kane Borough Council is expected to adopt a final budget for 2012.
Adoption of the budget is expected to take place during council's meeting Monday at 4 p.m. at the borough building along Bayard Street. The meeting is open to the public.
"With a heavy heart," Jason Barner has announced his resignation as the head varsity football coach at Kane Area High School.
The Kane School Board received his letter of resignation at its meeting Thursday at the Kane Middle School auditorium.
"I have many great memories from my years of coaching this sport and it will be missed a great deal," Barner said in his letter. "Being a part of this program for the last 16 years and seeing the program grow to new heights is a very special memory for me. Football has been a major part of my life as well as my family's lives."
Alleged incidents of child abuse and sexual abuseâ€”along with alleged cover-ups---recently have been linked with schools and universities in Pennsylvania.
In the Kane Area School District, all employees have the â€śobligationâ€ť to report suspected cases of abuse involving students. Failure to do so could lead to dismissal and possible criminal charges.
Dr. Maryann Anderson, superintendent of the school district, said all school employees are â€śmandatory reportersâ€ť of suspected abuse.