Lower Burrell's budget calls for police raises but no tax increase
Lower Burrell won’t be raising its real estate taxes next year, but police officers will get raises.
City council passed the 2019 budget and real estate tax rate, which will remain at 22.75 mills, in a 5-0 vote.
The overall spending plan is about $6.7 million.
The city departments that will receive the most money include sewers at $3.3 million, accounts and finance at $2.5 million and public affairs at $2.2 million.
The city allocated $1.9 million for sewage processing.
A total of $900,000 will go toward insurance/hospitalization costs. Unemployment compensation is budgeted for close to $760,000.
Police officer salaries fall under the public affairs department and make up close to $1.4 million.
Chief Tim Weitzel and all officers will receive a 3 percent pay increase next year, Weitzel said.
There are currently 17 officers in the department, including the chief.
Weitzel said he is happy his officers are receiving raises.
“The staff of the Lower Burrell Police Department are dedicated professionals who work hard to protect the people of our city,” Weitzel said. “Police officers have a very difficult job, and our officers accept this risk and perform their duties admirably.”
Weitzel made $102,324 this year and will make $105,385 next year. That’s a 3 percent raise.
The sole lieutenant, Detective Lt. Scott Cardenas, will make $83,327 in 2019. He made $80,900 this year. That amounts to 4.1 percent.
There are currently five sergeants and 10 patrolmen.
Sergeants made $79,332 this year ; their salary next year will be $81,712. That’s a 3 percent increase.
According to Weitzel, patrolmen who have worked with the department for five years received $76,156 in 2018. They will make $78,441 in 2019, which also is a 3 percent hike.
Overtime pay for officers is budgeted at just over $246,000 .
Some other expenditures of note include $300,000 for payments associated with the anticipated bond issue for the city hall renovations and public works building project; about $170,000 for Waste Management to provide recycling services; and $94,000 for street light costs throughout the city.
Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, firstname.lastname@example.org, or via Twitter @maddyczebstrib.