ShareThis Page
Monroeville juggles proposed budget without tax increase |

Monroeville juggles proposed budget without tax increase

Monroeville chief financial officer Sean Lally said most of the $2.4 million spending increase in next year’s proposed budget will go toward municipal employees.

Lally said during a budget hearing that $20.3 million — about 64 percent of the proposed $31.8 million spending plan — will go toward paying wages and other compensation for municipal employees. Monroeville manager Tim Little has recommended no property-tax increase. Property owners already saw real-estate taxes increase by 1.57 mills for 2014 from 2.43 to 4 mills. The increase is about $169 for a home with the median county-assessed value of $107,800.

The proposed budget represents an 8-percent increase over this year’s $29.4 million budget. While municipal officials have recommended council increase spending, Lally said available revenue is expected to increase in line with these expenditures.

In addition to wages, the costs of labor include state-mandated pension contributions — $52,700 per police officer and $12,800 per nonuniformed employee, according to Lally.

Budget documents indicate that the municipality’s total pension requirements for next year will be $3.6 million, with $2.9 million coming from the municipality and an estimated $700,000 coming from the state.

Municipal department heads outlined these changes in revenue streams and projected changes in costs for next year:

• An increase to $400,000 for liability and property insurance, compared to $355,000 budgeted for this year.

“Why that’s up a little bit is the lawsuits that we’ve received over the last couple years,” said Joe Sedlak, director of human resources.

Former Monroeville manager Lynette McKinney has filed lawsuits in federal and state court this year accusing council of unfairly firing her in a January vote. Former police Chief Steve Pascarella also sued the municipality in federal court.

Sedlak said the municipality’s liability insurance includes a deductible of $25,000 per lawsuit, so additional lawsuits increase costs.

• An increase in funding for the Monroeville Public Library — from $984,000 to $1.1 million. The increase includes $47,500 to pay for outside personnel. Acting director Johnna Cornelius said the money will go toward paying engineers and contractors for remodeling the building’s lobby.

• The dispatch center will lose $3,000 a month because it no longer will be providing dispatch services for Forbes Regional Hospital’s paramedic response unit, according to Monroeville police Chief Doug Cole.

• The Monroeville Senior Citizens Center has made about $15,000 this year through SilverSneakers, a program offered through Highmark. Center director Tara Gresock projected $6,000 in additional funds next year from Silver and Fit, a UPMC program that will become effective in January.

A budget work session is scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 20 in the municipal building. The Nov. 13 meeting was cancelled.

Gideon Bradshaw is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-871-2369 or [email protected].

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.