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Greensburg police pension fund tops $1M

| Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Greensburg's police pension fund has topped $1 million for 2014.

On Monday, city council approved the $1,033,590 cost, which the city, state and officers contribute toward.

The cost is up $86,560 from the 2013 amount, city administrator Sue Trout said.

City officials estimated the city's share at $550,000 to $600,000. The state contribution is not known at this point but has averaged between $300,000 and $350,000 over the past few years, city officials said.

Officers will contribute nearly $123,000 from their pay, Trout said.

Council further agreed to pay $122,184 to the non-uniform employees pension plan, up $7,241 from this year.

In another matter, council unanimously backed a 20-year lease with the Katherine Mabis McKenna Foundation for the Greensburg Garden and Civic Center.

Under the lease, Greensburg is absolved of potential improvement, repair, maintenance or insurance costs, city officials said. The foundation will move more to the forefront in operating the building.

“It takes the burden of expenses off the city” while continuing the same cultural programs offered in the past, Councilman Rob DePasquale said.

The foundation will pay $20 annually for the 20-year lease, with renewal options up to 99 years, city officials said.

The center has multiple meeting areas used by community groups, and plays, musicals and other cultural events are held in the 320-seat auditorium.

The building on Old Salem Road was built by philanthropist Katherine Mabis McKenna and donated in 1969 to the city as a memorial to her son, Mennel M. Smith.

The foundation is glad to have the lease, especially considering how the building came into being, said Linda McKenna Boxx, chairwoman of the foundation's board.

Foundation officials are working on an agreement with the Westmoreland Cultural Trust to manage the facility. The trust managed the building under an earlier lease.

The city is prohibited from selling the property because of deed restrictions, Trout said.

In another matter, council recognized Patrolman Shawn Denning with a letter of commendation for his swift actions in rescuing a woman during an Aug. 14 fire on Highland Avenue.

Several Greensburg and Southwest Greensburg firefighters assisted Denning in the rescue.

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

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