Robinson spending down

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Spending in Robinson will decrease about $49,400 from last year in an $11 million 2013 budget commissioners passed late last month.

Commissioner Jesse Forquer, the finance chairman, said Monday revenues are expected to increase by nearly $199,000, and the township will not have to borrow money this year using a tax anticipation note, he said.

Manager Aaron Bibro said due to the Allegheny County property reassessments and associated appeals, the township will set the millage rate in March, prior to issuing tax bills in early April. Robinson's property tax rate for the past five years has been 3.05 mills.

Planned spending includes $400,000 for road paving, Mr. Bibro said, and a dog likely will join the police department this year, thanks to private donations and grants. Employee raises include 3 percent for police, 2.75 percent for public works and 75 cents an hour for secretaries, under their union agreements.

Several factors contributed to an overall decrease in expenses, Mr. Bibro said.

In a move set to save about $100,000 this year, health insurance deductibles now are required from all township employees, including nonunion staff and members of the collective bargaining units, he said.

A salt surplus due to last year's mild winter means savings of $180,000, and the retirement of two senior township employees will save money too, he said.

Robinson also saved about $300,000 by moving in July 2011 from the local police dispatch center to Allegheny County 911, and about $90,000 from staff reductions in the tax collection office last year.

For years, Robinson had operated at a deficit, but the township began to reverse that trend in 2010, Mr. Bibro said.

Commissioners Chairman Samuel Abatta said this is the third straight year township revenues have exceeded expenditures. With revenues this year projected at $11.58 million and expenditures budgeted at $11.06 million, the township expects to generate a surplus of more than $500,000.


Andrea Iglar, freelance writer:


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