Oakmont Council Maintains Line on Property Taxes and Borough Fees in 2021 Budget
Oakmont officials kept the line on property taxes and borough fees in their 2021 budget.
Next year’s spending plan was approved by a 6-0 vote Monday night.
Councilor Sophia Facaros was absent. Several board members participated virtually to help with social distancing and covid safety protocols.
It has been about four years since the council raised taxes to the current rate of 3.73 million.
Budget planning started in early September. There were several budget meetings in addition to financial discussions at board workshops and voting sessions.
Borough Director Scot Fodi said he was happy to see the budget passed and believes Oakmont will be able to provide all services and complete several projects within the spending plan.
“A budget is the guide,” Fodi said. “We will use it as a guide. I hope to begin a capital budget process next year for the board to consider for future building projects.
“Communities of our size and caliber should establish capital budgets in addition to their annual general budget. It helps with planning. This helps to establish the decisions to be made by the council and to establish the expectations that the residents must see in the years to come. »
Projected revenues for 2021 were approximately $4.4 million and expenses were $4.6 million, with the gap to be filled with money from the Borough’s estimated $400,000 cash reserves. .
Borough Director Scot Fodi said spending was higher than the general fund due to several stormwater management projects that were not completed this year.
Proposed expenditures include $350,000 for paving, $10,000 for a street sweeper, $290,000 for the Oakmont Carnegie Library, replacing 15 streetlights along the boulevard with LED lights at a cost of $109 for each light and $278,000 for parks and recreation.
Planned park projects include the removal of eight trees in Dark Hollow Woods, the repair of fences and baseball mounds, the installation of two charcoal grills in Riverside Park as well as the improvement of walking paths in Creekside Park and Dark Hollow.
Approximately $1.6 million of the proposed budget is allocated to the police department.
Borough officials plan to reduce shifts to part-time and hire another full-time officer to cover that time.
The service has seven full-time members, including Chief Michael Ford, and seven part-time officers.
Four new security cameras for Riverside Park, next to Riverview High School, are in the police section of the budget.
No brick rehabilitation of Allegheny River Boulevard is planned for next year.
Councilor Nancy Ride said $15,000 has been allocated for a possible repair or replacement of the emergency siren.
The borough has three sirens. The one in question is near Tenth Street Elementary School. This has caused problems for several residents over the past few years.
Fire department officials say it’s a necessary tool to alert volunteers and residents to possible emergencies.
Ride also said the borough had no major revenue and expense issues this year thanks to $125,000 in CARES Act revenue, which helps offset costs incurred due to the covid pandemic.
The budget is available for consultation on the Borough’s website.
Online information also includes information on proposed projects for the Oakmont Carnegie Library, Kerr Museum, and Oakmont Boulevard Project.
Fodi said he plans to start financial planning for 2022 a little earlier next year and hopes to present a budget by November.
“We’re getting really good at forecasting, and we can figure out the last month of the year as opposed to the last week of the year,” Fodi said.