Share This Page

Kittanning budget draws contention

| Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, 12:11 a.m.
Louis B. Ruediger | Leader Times
Kittanning Council reviews the monthly agenda during Mondays meeting October 7, 2013

KITTANNING — Matters concerning at least two borough-related bills were the source of some discussion during Monday's council meeting.

Councilman Richard Reedy expressed concern about whether the borough had funds available to pay the remaining balance for the uniformed police pension plan.

The total pension plan sum for the borough's uniformed police is $192,036. The borough has received a state allocation from the General Pension System State Aid in the amount of $120,415.11. That leaves a $71,620.89 gap, which the borough must pay by the end of December.

Council members Mike Rosenberger, Betsy Wilt, Joie Pryde, Kim Fox, Ange Turco, Chris Schiano and Reedy voted 7-0 to pay the remainder out of the general fund as soon as funds become available. Councilman Andrew Peters was absent.

As soon as the vote was over, however, Reedy said he had a question: “Where's the money coming from?”

“From taxes,” Turco said.

Other council members noted that the current budget has a sizable buffer — the $250,000 tax anticipation loan, which council secured at the beginning of 2013 and which has yet to be used.

Yet when it came to settling a $4,500 bill belonging to Hose Co. 4, Reedy was quick to suggest council pay the amount.

Each of the three fire departments in the borough are allocated $10,000 a year to pay for fire equipment and utilities.

Hose Co. 4 had reached that limit.

Earl “Buzz” Kline, of Co. 4, told council that the fire department reached its limit because a truck maintenance bill of about $4,500 went unpaid by council last year and carried over to this year's expenses.

“That's why we're out of money,” Kline said.

Reedy made a motion for council to approve giving a $4,500 credit to the fire department, but the motion failed for lack of a second.

Rosenberger made a new motion for council to give a $4,500 credit to the fire company only if sufficient funds are available in the current budget.

The vote was approved by 6-1. Reedy opposed it.

Schiano told Kline he would let him know the outcome later this week.

In other business:

• Scott Crawford, a representative from KEEGAN Wireless, asked council to allow a portion of Market Street (from the Citizens Bridge to the Health House at 247 Market St.) to close to motorist traffic from 6 a.m. Saturday until Sunday afternoon. He said the closure is necessary to allow for a 400-ton crane to complete work on an equipment shelter. The sidewalks will remain open to pedestrians, and both McKean and Jefferson streets will be open to motorists.

Council voted 7-0 approving the temporary closure.

• Resident and former borough officer Alan “Butch” Puccetti asked council to consider looking into other cable carrier options for the borough. He said the current carrier, Comcast, just raised rates again.

“Just because they're the big dog doesn't mean they're the only dog in town,” he said.

• Council voted 6-1 to approve this year's Trick-or-Treat be held on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. Turco opposed the suggestion, saying he disliked the change from the traditional day of Oct. 31.

• Pryde announced that Light up Night will be Nov. 22.

• November's next council meeting will be held Nov. 11.

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303.

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.