Hempfield budget won’t budge on taxes for 30th year
Hempfield’s annual tradition of not raising property taxes has now reached 30 years, with a preliminary 2020 budget approved by township supervisors.
The budget, which is more than $14 million, keeps on track with the current rate of 3 mills, a number that has not budged since 1990. Compared to last year, the budget increases by almost $688,000 due to higher revenues and includes 5% more in expenditures from increased health insurance costs and added positions.
About $1.74 million in revenues is expected in the 2020 budget, with about $40,150 coming from the mini casino under construction at Westmoreland Mall. Officials held a ground breaking ceremony last month for the casino, dubbed Live! Casino Pittsburgh.
Officials are being conservative with predicted funds from the casino, which is expected to open in July, said Melanie Phillips, director of finance.
Over $1 million of the budget is allocated to the township’s 12 fire stations, which have been at the head of the conversation due to low staffing and concerns surrounding response times. Of that amount, $185,000 is designated for equipment maintenance while $142,000 is for salaries after positions of fire chief and deputy fire chief were added in an effort to make the stations become one department. The funds also provide training, uniforms and other supplies.
Last year, the fire service received $1.75 million, with $50,000 earmarked for a comprehensive plan that examined the stations and public safety. Money was also slated for two new aerial fire trucks for Adamsburg and Bovard fire department, costing $850,000 each.
The budget also includes over $3.7 million for employee salaries, over $4 million for government expenses, about $525,000 for the code and safety department, over $4.6 million for public works and over $800,000 for parks and recreation.
Supervisors will vote Dec. 23 on a final version of the budget.
Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .