Pine supervisors unanimously pass 2020 budget - PineCreek Journal

Pine supervisors unanimously pass 2020 budget

Thursday, December 5, 2019 | 12:01 AM

Pine board of supervisors unanimously passed the 2020 budget at its Dec. 2 meeting.

Highlights of the $20 million budget include proposed expansion at the Pine Community Center, construction of a handicapped accessible trail and wetland interpretive area in Pine Community Park, municipal building updates, the extension of the Rachel Carson Trail to the Wexford Station Trail, updating the official Township of Pine map, and a number of other projects.

The budget also allows for $2.3 million for the annual road paving program, $350,000 for the Wexford Volunteer Fire Department, $1.8 million for the Northern Regional Police Department, to which Pine’s contribution is 36.25 percent, $281,517 for Northern Tier Regional Library and $768,000 for projects mandated by the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems Program.

It also includes $780,000 from the Transportation Impact Fund for traffic signal improvements, including installation of a traffic signal at Warrendale and Franklin Roads and upgrades to the nine signals along the Route 19 corridor, offset by grant funding.

What remains somewhat at odds is the point of the community center renovation. Pat Avolio stated when the budget was discussed at the board’s mid-November meeting that he’s not in favor of the expenditure at present, and echoed that sentiment before the vote. Those improvements are pending a needs assessment, and outgoing supervisor Frank Spagnolo noted that just because it’s in the budget doesn’t mean they’re required to spend the money.

At .998 mills, the tax rate did not change for 2020 and remains the lowest in Allegheny County. It is the 20th year in a row that the township did not increase taxes.

Tax revenues are expected to increase six percent in 2019, according to township officials, due to a combination of population growth, robust real estate sales and ongoing business development.

Thirty-eight percent of the 2020 general fund revenues, or $4.98 million, will come from earned income tax with 16 percent, or $2.14 million, from real estate transfer tax. Business tax makes up 12 percent at $1.63 million, just ahead of charges for services at $1.5 million and property taxes at $1.42 million.

The biggest chunk of the budget at 36 percent goes toward public works at $3.84 million. Next is police at 17 percent and parks and recreation at 14 percent, or $1.51 million.

  • The board of supervisors also swore in Northern Regional’s new chief of police John Sicilia at the December meeting. Sicilia was promoted from captain to replace longtime chief Bob Amann, who retired at the end of November.