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Pleasant Hills Borough Council OK's budget expenses

| Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Pleasant Hills Borough will operate with a $1.2 million deficit until the spring, when the millage is set, officials said.

Borough council approved the $7.96 million 2013 budget on Jan. 21. There are many properties in Pleasant Hills still waiting for appeal hearings for the 2011 Allegheny County property tax reassessments, which went into effect for homeowners in 2013, so borough officials most likely will approve the 2013 millage in May or June, Councilman Joseph Esper said.

“We've bought ourselves some time,” Esper said. “The budget that was passed was just on the expenditure side.”

Officials of municipalities in Allegheny County are required to adjust the millage in 2013 so that budgets are revenue neutral but also are permitted to raise it to generate an additional 5 percent, which Pleasant Hills planned to do, Esper said.

Borough officials also are negotiating contracts with both Local 433 of the Utility Workers Union of America, which includes public works, Pleasant Hills Authority, administrative and police clerk departments, and the Teamsters Local 205, which covers the police. Finalizing the contracts will help firm up Pleasant Hills' 2013 budget but also could create a larger deficit, Esper said.

“It's going to be worse than $1.2 million, but we don't know what that number will be,” Esper said.

When asked if the borough might have to go to the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas to request more than the additional 5 percent, Esper said he had no comment.

“It's obviously an option,” Esper said.

Pleasant Hills' 2013 budget includes:

• A $2.57 million police budget, $184,847 for the Pleasant Hills Volunteer Fire Company and $48,450 for emergency medical services.

• Pleasant Hills Public Library will receive $144,070.

• Capital improvements expenses include $35,000 for police cars, $15,000 for security cameras, $80,750 in fire equipment, $85,000 for public works and sanitation, and $376,471 for highway maintenance repairs and reconstruction.

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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