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Oakmont holds line on taxes with 2019 budget

Michael DiVittorio
| Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018, 9:03 p.m.

Oakmont officials hold the line on real estate taxes and plan to spend more in storm water management in their 2019 budget.

Council unanimously voted to adopt next year’s spending plan and maintain the millage rate at 3.73 mills.

It’s been at least four years since taxes were raised to the current rate.

Borough documents list next year’s anticipated revenues and expenses at around $4.73 million.

Council President William Benusa credited the borough administration’s fiscal discipline for keeping taxes the same.

Retired Sewickley Borough Manager Kevin Flannery was appointed Oakmont’s interim manager a few weeks ago. He replaced Lisa Cooper Jensen, who resigned as borough manager after working for Oakmont for more than 30 years.

“Lisa left everything in very good shape,” Flannery said.

The budget includes costs for repaving and installing a handicapped ramp at Riverside Park, new equipment for the street department, digitizing borough records and $75,000 toward a new ladder truck for the fire department.

Council members voted 5-2 in favor of moving approximately $81,000 from several line items to begin storm water projects and catch basin upgrades along Commons Drive, Washington Avenue and Third Street.

Councilman Justin Lokay and Councilwoman Leah Powers dissented. They objected to $9,000 being moved from library maintenance.

Benusa pushed for the additional storm water spending to provide some relief to Oakmont Commons residents who have been dealing with flooding issues for years.

Several of them brought their concerns before council in August .

Council already budgeted $75,000 for catch basins borough-wide.

“It’s a good start,” Benusa said about the money move.

The budget’s is expected to be posted to the borough website within the next few weeks.

In other news:

Council retroactively hired Brandon Kozar at a part-time police officer. His first official day was Dec. 10 after being sworn in by Mayor Christopher Whaley.

Kozar also works part time for the Verona and West Deer police departments.

Whaley said the department has seven full-time and around 10 part-time officers.

Borough Solicitor Kate Diersen was appointed Oakmont’s Right-to-Know officer.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, mdivittorio@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.

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