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Greensburg officials get pay hikes

| Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, 8:55 p.m.

Greensburg City Council has unanimously approved a 2014 budget that gives raises to employees and calls for no hike in property taxes.

Nonunion employees receive, on average, between 2 percent and 3 percent in raises as part of the overall $22.37 million budget, city officials said.

Police get a 3 percent raise and members of Teamsters Local 30 a 2.5 percent raise, both set by contracts.

The Teamsters represent 26 employees in the maintenance, street and recreation departments.

Police Chief Walter “Wally” Lyons, who was awarded a two-year contract by council earlier this week, is earning the highest base salary.

Lyons, 62, a 41-year veteran of the department, will get $106,542.72 in the first year of his agreement, which includes longevity pay. Officers get 1 percent of their salary for each year of service up to 20 years.

Greensburg police Capt. Chad Zucco will receive a base salary of $81,600, plus longevity pay.

Here is a breakdown of other salaries for supervisors, according to city records:

• City Administrator Sue Trout, $75,500. She received a 1 percent raise.

• Fiscal Director Mary Perez, $61,000, plus additional $3,600 as treasurer.

• Superintendent of Streets Rick Hoyle, Planning Director Barbara Ciampini, Code Bureau Director Les Harvey, all $61,000;

• Superintendent of Parks and Recreation Frank Lehman, $51,500.

• Golf Course Superintendent Tom Bell, $51,500.

A first-year police officer earns a base salary of $56,016.

Council set property taxes at 25.05 mills in approving the budget. Council devoted 9.5 mills to the sinking fund to pay off long-term debt. The remaining 15.55 mills will fund the approximately $10.5 million general fund.

The overall $22.37 million budget has line items for pension, liquid fuels and other accounts that are not directly part of the general fund.

General fund expenses total $4.46 million for public affairs and safety; $2.83 million for accounts and finance; $1 million for administration, development and public operation; $1 million for public works, and $1.12 million for parks and recreation.

City officials project about $2 million will be raised for the general fund from property taxes, while $3 million will be generated through the earned income tax. A mill generates $131,500 in the city.

Council has budgeted $435,000 coming from the business privilege tax.

In another matter, council unanimously agreed to amend the comprehensive plan to include a health care district proposal for the 5th and 6th wards.

During a meeting Monday, council offered time to anyone who wanted to comment on the plan prior to the panel's vote. No one walked to the podium. Consultant Urban Design Associates of Pittsburgh and others put together the plan with the intent to enhance the two wards and spark development.

The plan divides the area into districts, with different goals for each. Excela Health's Westmoreland Hospital is approximately in the center of the districts.

The plan proposes several potential changes for West Otterman and West Pittsburgh streets, each currently restricted to one-way travel. It calls for a pedestrian-and-bike bridge connecting Seton Hill University with the Depot Street section of the city.

Planners have recommended extensive commercial and residential development off Depot Street and suggest a new connecting road to Daniels & Miller scrap yard.

They also recommend consolidating parking areas at Westmoreland Hospital, offering more green spaces and parks, and creating home-rehabilitation programs and mortgage-incentive plans.

Two members of the city planning commission voted last month against recommending the health care plan to council.

They expressed concerns about the potential of West Otterman and West Pittsburgh streets becoming open to two-way traffic.

The items in the plan are just suggestions and many may never happen, Mayor Ron Silvis said.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or