No tax hike an­tic­i­pated next year

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Local Xtra - By Deana Car­pen­ter

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.

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