UNIONTOWN — Following the lead of Uniontown City Council, the Uniontown Area School Board adopted an ordinance establishing property tax exemptions for certain residential properties within the city in an effort to encourage property development and fight blight.

The ordinance exempts property tax for rehabilitating a property and increasing its assessed value by at least $20,000 as determined by the Fayette County Tax Assessment Bureau, or for building one or more dwelling units on vacant land that increases a property’s tax assessment value by at least $20,000.

The ordinance, also known as the Improvement of Deteriorating Real Property or Areas Tax Exemption Act, was approved by Uniontown City Council in October.

Expiring at the end of 2024, the ordinance exempts 100% of eligible assessment for five years following the year the residential construction or improvement becomes assessable. Exemptions end after five years.

Superintendent Dr. Charles Machesky said the ordinance is independent of the city’s ordinance and would remain in effect if the city repealed its ordinance.

The ordinance follows the adoption of a similar ordinance earlier this year by both the school board and City Council known as the Local Economic Revitalization Tax Assistance (LERTA) Act that established tax exemptions in the city for deteriorated industrial, commercial and other business properties.

In other business, the board approved a collective bargaining agreement with the Service Employees International Union (S.E.I.U.) Local 32BJ, which represents secretaries and aides in the district.

The new three-year contract is retroactive to July 1 and runs through June 30, 2022.

The contract affords hourly wage increases of $0.55, $0.65 and $0.93 to employees each year depending on their position and step. Employee monthly health care premium contributions were reduced from 2% to 1.5%.

At the meeting, the board also:

n Approved Angela Rugola as head girls varsity swimming coach.

n Approved William Grimes as head boys varsity swimming coach.

n Set the board reorganization meeting for 6:25 p.m. Dec. 3, with a special meeting for general purposes to follow.

n Added Tammy Sheehan to the professional substitute list.

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