Zelienople council votes to increase electric rates

April 11, 2019 Cranberry Local News

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ZELIENOPLE — Borough council voted Monday to increase electric rates.

Effective for the May billing cycle, customers will see an average 3.5 percent increase in their bills. According to Don Pepe, borough manager, the actual amount will depend on the type of service classification for which the customer is billed.

Pepe said this year's budget allowed for up to a 4 percent increase to account for low spots and spikes in electric use. He said the borough purchases electricity from various sources and accounts for those high and low periods within the budget.

The increase will allow the borough to address those costs. He said in past years, budgets included up to a 7 percent increase, but the borough typically sets hikes in the 3 percent range.

Also Monday, council approved a traffic study to determine the possibility of making Jefferson Street one way from Beaver Street to Grandview Avenue as well as making Green Lane one-way from Grand Avenue to Beaver Street.

Pepe said the streets are narrow, and turning on those streets can be tight. He said with a new restaurant planning to open soon in the area, council wanted to look at the best way to address possible issues as well as possible parking restrictions.

According to officials, the borough's traffic counter system will be used to gather data, and the study should cost a few thousand dollars.

Council met in executive session Monday to evaluate the performance of Police Chief James Miller.

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J.W.  Johnson Jr.

J.W. Johnson Jr.

J.W. Johnson Jr. is the bureau chief of the Cranberry Eagle. Johnson is a native of Bellaire, Ohio, and graduated from Bellaire High School in 2004. He is a 2009 graduate of Ohio University in Athens with a bachelor of specialized studies degree in English and journalism. While there, he served as a reporter and editor at The Post, the university’s student-run, independent newspaper. In 2009, he was hired as a reporter for The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register in Wheeling, W.Va. Over the course of eight years, he also served as Marshall County bureau chief, city editor and news editor. He also won two first place West Virginia Press Association Awards for his reporting and design work. He and his wife, Maureen, live in Carnegie.