Before Oakmont Council approved a preliminary 2013 budget on Monday, its members had to close $58,000 deficit.
Officials succeeded, passing a $3.35 million preliminary budget that holds the line on taxes and includes a $8,270 surplus.
The current millage rate in Oakmont is 4.5 mills—a resident pays $450 in real estate taxes for every $100,000 of assessed property value. It's been about four years since the millage rate increased.
However, due to the county reassessments, borough officials are anticipating more tax revenue in 2013. The $1.55 million of anticipated real estate tax revenue in the preliminary budget reflects a 2.5 increase from 2012, which officials are saying is a "reasonable and fairly conservative" number.
Administrators won't know for sure how much tax revenue to expect until they receive a certified reassessment value for the borough from the county. Borough manager Lisa Jensen said that figure should be available in December.
Here are some budget highlights:
- The budget includes a 3 percent wage increase for borough office and public works employees, and a 5 percent increase for a part-time bookkeeper.
- A new part-time accountant position has been approved. The employee would work about 16 hours per week and would be paid $25,000 annually.
- $25,000 for a traffic study and a parking study at Allegheny River Boulevard are included.
- An additional $65,800 has been budgeted for full-time police wages. That money could include the hiring of two police sergeants. An additional $30,000 for part-time police wages also is included.
- The police motorcycle will be sold. Officials anticipate about $15,000 from the sale.
Councilman Timothy Milberger and police Chief David DiSanti commended Jensen and her staff for the hard work they put into balancing the budget.
The preliminary budget will be advertised, and it will be posted at the borough building and the Oakmont Carnegie Library for public review. It currently is posted on the borough website on the lefthand side of the homepage. It also has been uploaded to the media section of this article.
Council will accept comments from the public regarding the budget at its Dec. 10 meeting. A final budget will be passed during a special meeting on Dec. 27 at 7 p.m. at the borough building.