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Jefferson Hills council approves $12.93 million preliminary budget

| Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, 8:57 p.m.

Jefferson Hills Borough Council unanimously approved the 2013 preliminary budget at the business meeting last week.

The $12.93 million budget will be on display for public viewing before council is scheduled to vote on the final document on Dec. 10.

“We should be solid financially,” said Andrew McCreery, business manager for the borough.

Taxes for some Jefferson Hills residents could increase in 2013 because of the Allegheny County property reassessments. The millage in 2013 will be set after the borough receives the final certified values from the county on Dec. 17.

McCreery estimates that the tax rate must be reduced from 5.63 mills in 2012 to 4.4 mills in 2013 for the proceeds to remain revenue neutral, he said. The millage is an estimate based on the real estate taxes collected in 2012, $2.895 million.

Jefferson Hills also will take advantage of the 5-percent windfall permitted with the reassessments, which would bring the total millage in 2013 to 4.62 mills. It would bring in an estimated $160,000 more in property taxes, McCreery said.

About 31 percent of the assessed property in Jefferson Hills increased in value, so those residents above that would pay more in taxes, McCreery said.

Highlights of the 2013 preliminary budget include the following, McCreery said:

• Jefferson Hills has a general fund of $8.4 million.

• The tax rate of 5.63 mills breaks down to 5.08 mills for the general fund, 0.45 mil for the three borough volunteer fire companies and 0.1 mil for the Jefferson Hills Area Ambulance Association.

• Expenditures are increasing by 1.2 percent overall.

• Personnel expenses will increase by 3.6 percent; projected health insurance premiums will increase by 7 percent; the police pension will increase by $24,997; and workers compensation will increase by $24,178.

• Capital improvement projects are a priority in 2013, taking up about 24 percent of the budget. This is an 18.1 percent increase from 2012.

Projects include $435,000 budgeted for the 2013 roads program, revamping the McElheny Bridge, upsizing the sanitary sewer lines on Walton Road for $1.125 million, and the operations and maintenance of borough sewer lines, which is $695,000.

• The Beedle Park renovation program is estimated to cost $180,750, although borough administrators hope to receive a $76,750 grant for the project from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

• About $1.3 million will be used from the $2.77 million fund balance for the 2013 budget. Borough council and McCreery will begin planning for 2013 through 2016 to prevent further depreciation of the fund balance.

“This is not something that is rectified overnight,” McCreery said.

Meeting notes

Jefferson Hills Borough Council also did the following at the Nov. 13 business meeting:

• Borough council granted preliminary and final approval to the Pittsburgh Eye Institute site plan. The business will be located on State Route 51, between the Stephen D. Slater Funeral Home and Huntington Bank.

• Borough council unanimously approved East West Manufacturing and Supply Co. for the municipal building HVAC improvement project with a bid of $283,900.

• Borough council approved paying A. Folino Construction $116,345 and Russell Standard Corp. $51,119 for the 2012 paving program.

• Carole King, who retired as police clerk for the borough in August, received a proclamation from Mayor Michael Green for her 34 years of service to Jefferson Hills.

“I miss it but I'm enjoying my retirement,” King said.

Laura Van Wert is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5814 or at lvanwert@tribweb.com.

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