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Mon City continues frugal ways on budget

| Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, 12:34 a.m.

With debt rising several years ago, Monongahela officials sought court approval to increase the real estate tax rate to 5 mills more than maximum level of 25 mills permitted for Third Class cities.

The court gave city leaders a time line for reducing millage back to 25. By the time the 2010 budget was approved, the millage rate was 23.

It has remained there since because of good fiscal management, Councilman and finance director Tom Caudill said Wednesday.

Meeting Wednesday, council heard the first reading of the 2013 budget – which again holds the line on property taxes.

The tentative $2,579,905 spending plan has a $17,847 deficit, which Caudill said will be eliminated before the final budget is approved next month.

Departmental expenditures are as follows:

• Public affairs - $718,256.

•Accounts and finance - $1,250,368.

• Public safety - $106,150.

• Streets and improvements - $448,678.

• Parks and property - $74,300.

Current revenues in the budget are $2,579,905. Caudill said the city continues to pursue state, federal and Local Share Account money while maintaining “a conservative departmental spending plan.”

Caudill said the city eliminated deficit spending by following a corrective action spending plan outlined by the state.

“I commend our mayor, city council and city employees for their diligent and continued efforts to keep expenses under control in spite of rising operational costs,” Caudill said.

Caudill said the city will continue to financially support the library and fire department and maintain a reciprocal working relationship with New Eagle. It also continues to contractually provide police services to New Eagle and Finleyville.

“The city is committed to provide a safe recreational and cultural environment for our residents in spite of having a high employment rate and uncertain economic growth in our area and a large senior population on fixed incomes,” Caudill said.

“I commend the budgetary control by the city clerk, assessor, tax office, police and street department.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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