Pleasant Hills adopts spending plan with $1M deficit
Pleasant Hills council adopted its 2014 budget with nearly a $1 million shortfall but no tax increase, but that is not expected to stand come January.
Councilman Joseph Esper called Monday night's unanimous adoption of next year's spending plan and tax ordinance a formality because council will reopen the budget at the Jan. 6 reorganization meeting. It's likely the tax rate set Monday, 5.322 mills, will increase because of reassessments.
“We have every intention on doing that,” Esper said. “It will buy us more time to get a more accurate number on the borough's assessed value, and set a more accurate tax rate.”
Revenues are listed at $6,193,910 and expenses at $7,118,679, a deficit of $924,769.
The millage rate set Monday includes .0716 mills for the Pleasant Hills Public Library and .2154 mills for the fire tax.
One mill equals approximately $475,000.
Esper cited Allegheny County figures that show the borough lost millions in assessed value.
The borough's total assessed value was $640,882,300 on Dec. 20, 2012. Council set the 2013 millage rate in May, when the borough's assessed value was $626,852,133, a decrease of $14,030,167.
Esper said the borough lost that money because of appeals by businesses and residents.
On Friday, the borough's assessed value was at $589,491,093, marking the total decrease from last year at $51,391,207.
“Unfortunately, we're going to continue to lose assessed value throughout this year and who knows for how long,” Esper said. “We're going to try and work within our best abilities to contain that, and we can't afford to go backwards.”
Esper said the borough took advantage of a 5 percent windfall allowed by law this year, knowing it would have to give back money because of appeals.
“As it turned out, we gave back all of it and then some,” Esper said.
Esper lauded Mayor Warren Bourgeois for his financial input and budget recommendations.
“Over the last two years, his insight has been very valuable to me in the whole budget process,” Esper said.
Bourgeois thanked Esper for his compliments, noting they had some “tough conversations.”
“We didn't end with a bar fight, but we came pretty close one day,” the mayor said.Bourgeois recommended more transparency and communication among borough officials regarding the budget.
Revenues include $3,199,583 in real estate taxes, $1,530,000 in other taxes, $5,000 in penalties and interest, $27,800 in licenses and permits, $5,000 in street opening permits, $50,000 in fines, $57,333 in state capital, $211,901 in state shared revenue, $207,550 in general government revenue and $124,027 in public safety funds.
Expenses include $76,990 for administration, $15,502 for executive costs, $8,025 for financial administration, $44,350 for tax collection, $50,000 for legal services, $227,929 for clerk/secretary, $10,007 for personnel administration, $86,000 for engineer costs, $135,521 for general government buildings, $2,334,955 for police, $189,916 for fire, $52,000 for emergency medical service, $106,327 for planning and zoning and $50,800 for public works.
Council appointed Sean Greene as deputy police chief and Brian Finnerty as police chief.
Greene was a lieutenant and Finnerty a sergeant. Their new positions are effective Jan. 1.
Finnerty replaces retiring Chief Edward Cunningham, who is calling it a career at the end of the year with 37 years of service.
Cunningham was chief for six years. He was a lieutenant for 13 years and a patrolman for 18 years.
Council approved a new five-year contract for garbage collection with Waste Management. The contract expires in December 2018.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- McKeesport Area, South Allegheny districts upgrade school security
- McKeesport Rib Festival wraps up with Monday concert, fireworks show
- Additional negotiating session fails to resolve threatened East Allegheny strike
- Return to classes means it’s time to strike up the bands once again
- Steel Valley students to see plenty of changes this year
- McKeesport Area teacher fired amid sex scandal returns to school
- Electrical problem sparks fire in McKeesport truck
- ‘Shocker’ tourney honors memory of pro wrestler from McKeesport
- East Allegheny officials confirm strike, notify parents
- Munhall man pleads no contest in 2013 break-in
- Munhall council president says layoffs possible