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Harmony Fire District defends new station cost

4 municipalities have been asked to raise tax

October 23, 2020 Digital Media Exclusive

With some questions about the cost of a new home for Harmony Fire District, district President Tim Sapienza defended the projected $7.8 million price tag, saying it's the best way to fight fires in four municipalities.

Earlier this year, the district asked the communities it serves — Jackson and Lancaster townships, plus Harmony and Zelienople — to raise their fire tax to 3 mills, up from 2 mills in Zelienople and 1.5 mills in the other three municipalities, to help defray the costs of building and mortgaging a new station along Route 19 in Jackson Township.

Jackson supervisors, at their October meeting, raised some concerns over the cost of the new station, asking why that specific property was selected and questioning whether the price tag would be lower if it had selected a different site.

Supervisor chairman Jay Grinnell said the site had acres of wetlands that needed to be mitigated, adding a hefty price to the building. But Sapienza disputed that, saying not all of the swamp needs to be drained.

This is an excerpt from a larger article that appears in Sunday's Butler Eagle. Subscribe online or in print to read the full article.