South Fayette commissioners unanimously passed a 2017 operating budget that keeps the tax rate at 4.48 mills.
The $10.8 million operating budget was approved Dec. 14.
A preliminary budget had called for a 0.23-mill increase and included funding for an additional full-time position for the police and public works departments, as well as two part-time administrative positions.
After further review, however, staff reworked the final budget to include one full-time position for the public works department, and two to three part-time police officers. The two proposed administrative positions were eliminated.
Staffers also chipped away at other line items, such as the snow/ice removal reserves and funding for park improvements, public works vehicle maintenance and overtime. Officials also shaved expenses associated with the annual community day event and scaled back on legal services fees.
“The board’s vision is to live within our means, hit our revenue targets, and keep our expenditures in check,” said township manager Ryan Eggleston. “It is also a major benefit that our debt is as low as it is. Other than last year -- when we raised taxes to specifically fund an annual road improvement project -- the millage rate hasn’t gone up in years.”
South Fayette Library Board president Bob Milacci had asked the commissioners for $12,000 in more funding at their meeting last month.
He compared per capita municipal contributions made to neighboring libraries and concluded that South Fayette was on the low end.
The draft budget included a 3 percent increase in library contributions, or just over $3,000. The approved budget includes an additional $5,000, totaling more than $8,000 in additional funding for the library. The 2017 total contribution will be $125,000 — an increase of nearly $50,000 since 2012, when the township’s overall contribution was $76,500. The township is the largest funder of the library’s budget.
Amy Philips-Haller, freelance writer; firstname.lastname@example.org.