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Greensburg City Council delays budget

| Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 7:22 a.m.

Greensburg City Council delayed a vote on the 2012 budget on Monday.

Last night, council unanimously tabled a vote to a later date after city administrator Sue Trout said contracts for the Teamsters and the Fraternal Order of Police are not settled.

The Teamsters, who represent about 25 employees in the city's maintenance, street and recreation departments, will vote on a proposed agreement on Thursday.

The city has reopened the police contract over a proposed change in insurance coverage from Highmark to UPMC.

Highmark has proposed an increase of about $450,000 over what the city pays the insurer for coverage, while UPMC's expense is close to the approximately $1 million the city now pays, Trout said after the meeting.

"We simply can't afford that," she said of Highmark's boost.

Employee costs make up much of the budget, Trout noted.

"Those costs are such a large part of the budget that I don't feel comfortable moving forward without (agreements with the two unions)," she added after the meeting.

Council will call a special meeting to consider the budget.

When council presented the spending plan last month, no increase in property taxes was proposed.

"I'm very hopeful we can come to terms with both unions," Trout said. "I believe they see the need for the change. We simply can't afford the Highmark product."

In other matters:

• Council approved a $16,705 contract with McMahan Plumbing and Heating to replace a boiler at Greensburg Hose No. 2. The boiler is more than 25 years old and has mechanical problems, city officials said.

• The board awarded a $12,800 contract to Kuzmkowski Roofing for roofing work at the Mt. Odin pro shop. The roof is leaking because of hail damage last spring, Trout told council.

Insurance paid $11,800, and the city's deductible is $1,000, she said.

• Mayor Karl Eisaman and Councilmen Emil Peterinelli and Tom Tridico attended their last regular meeting. The three, all of whom did not seek re-election this year, combined for 67 years of service on council.

Police, firefighters and others lauded the three elected officials, and city employees bought three rocking chairs in their honor.

• Tim McCormick will be leaving as solicitor after 21 years of service.

• Parking will be free after 1 p.m. at city meters between Monday and Dec. 30.

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