Carnegie officials approve budget
Carnegie officially has a budget in place for 2013, but a set millage remains months away.
By a 5-1 vote, borough council approved the 2013 general fund budget of nearly $5.7 million at its meeting Monday night. Council President Rick D'Loss said because of uncertainty over Allegheny County reassessment appeals, council will wait until late spring or summer to set and vote on a property tax rate. The borough has until 10 days before real estate tax bills are mailed to set millage.
“We will have a better feeling at that point of the actual amount of millage we need to have in order to pay the borough's bills,” D'Loss said.
D'Loss said the 2013 budget increased 2.6 percent from 2012, mainly because of inflation and cost of living increases, but also because of a climb in workers compensation costs.
Councilman Robert Veres cast the dissenting vote against the budget because of objections regarding the borough's payment of the Carnegie Volunteer Fire and Rescue Bureau's mortgage.
Veres said the borough pays $8,000 per month for the mortgage at a high rate, but the fire department holds the title on the building.
“We also pay all their expenses, all their utilities, all their maintenance, all their gasoline, all their insurance — we pay everything over there,” Veres said.
D'Loss said council met with bookkeeper Amy Peek of Peekz Consulting and the attorney for the fire department prior to Monday's meeting, and he pressed them to have “an approved tabulation” of the department's finances by next month's meeting.
Property for sale
The borough is again seeking a buyer for the Family Dollar parking lot located at the intersection of Mansfield Avenue and Broadway Street.
Council approved a motion to re-advertise the borough-owned property for sale at its meeting Monday night, with a minimum bid of $320,000. Bids must be submitted by Feb. 1.
This is the third time the property has been put up for bidding.
In September, D'Loss said a national fast-food chain was interested in purchasing the property, which then carried a minimum $359,000 bid. D'Loss said the bid came in below the property's appraised value.
Each bid requires a site plan for the property, and work must be completed within two years, D'Loss said.
Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-8527 or firstname.lastname@example.org.