No tax hike anticipated next year
The property tax rate in Monroeville is projected to remain at 4 mills for 2018.
Manager Tim Little presented a $32.6 million proposed budget at council’s meeting on Tuesday, saying that revenues are up, “but expenses are also going up.”
The 2018 budget amount reflects a 4 percent increase over the 2017 budget.
Health insurance costs will rise 7 percent, or by $343,000, Mr. Little said.
The budget contains $800,000 for the 2018 road paving program. This year, about $500,000 was budgeted for paving, and Monroeville paved about 2 miles of roads. Mr. Little said the municipality should be paving about7 miles a year.
He also recommended a 1-mill increase for capital improvements.
“Our infrastructure is aging. We’re going to have to do something about it in the very near future,” he said.
Vacant positions are also going to need to be filled because of retirements in the coming year, he said. Additionally, some new positions are funded in the budget proposal, including a part-time Right-to-Know officer assistant at $15,000 per year, an additional dispatcher at $50,000 per year, and a part-time receptionistat $10,000 per year.
Mr. Little is also recommending an upgrade of Monroeville’s public safety communication equipment from VHF to UHF, which could cost about $1.1 million.
He said the change has been needed since the early 2000s when police departments began using Allegheny County 911 public safety dispatch centers. Since Monroeville has maintained its own dispatch center, the change to UHF was not immediately needed, he said.
Now, the equipment is at the end of its useful life and it is not cost-effective to continue on the VHF platform since all other police departments use the UHF platform.
“This will enable our police department to communicate directly with any other municipal police department in the county,” Mr. Little said.
Council will hold two publichearings — at 7 p.m. Nov. 2 and 6:30 p.m. Nov. 9 in council chambers — before voting ona budget in December.