Greensburg retains property taxes flat in an unsure fiscal yr

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According to Randy Finfrock, city councilor responsible for accounting and finance, Greensburg will need to be financially flexible in 2021 due to the uncertainties of the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic recovery.

The council unanimously approved a $ 11.8 million budget on Monday in a virtual meeting held through the Zoom video conferencing platform.

“We have no control over it and that bothers me more than I like to allow,” said Finfrock. “This is a Covid budget, this is not a Randy budget.”

The budget is largely the same as the preliminary version presented to the council last month, Finfrock said. It keeps property taxes at a flat rate of $ 25.05m and cuts discretionary spending while ensuring city services are not cut.

They are about $ 200,000 less than the 2020 budget, thanks to the economic impact of the pandemic, which cut revenues.

The city has a long list of projects it would like to complete, such as: These include replacing the street sweeper that was destroyed in a fire in 2019, replacing a 27-year-old dump truck and performing overdue maintenance on city buildings. These have been put on hold for 2021.

“The budget is in decent shape, there is little light on discretionary spending, but that’s life in 2020,” said Finfrock.

However, these projects could be re-examined next year. If a coronavirus vaccine becomes widely available and the local economy recovers quickly, the city may be able to afford to restore some of the line items that have been cut from budget.

If revenues are slow to recover, further cuts may be needed, according to Finfrock.

“If Covid takes longer, if the county stays closed … then we have to look back at the budget in the spring and see what we can do,” he said.

Some of the city’s key plans for 2021 are still on the table. Planning for the renovation of Spring Avenue Park continues as it has been largely funded by grants. Work on a comprehensive plan for the city continues.

The city will build a new public workshop to replace the one destroyed by fire in 2019. This project is largely funded by insurance. The city will pay for the remainder with remaining funds from 2016 when the local council borrowed $ 3 million to repair the Robert A. Bell Garage and fund other capital projects.

The council also voted on Monday to double the property transfer tax, which is levied on property sales, from 0.5% to 1%

The new budget has several fees and fines

Parking fees increase from $ 20 to $ 30 or from $ 25 to $ 35 if not paid within 10 days.

Veterans Memorial Pool season tickets increase by $ 25 for residents and by $ 50 for non-residents. That means a family pass is $ 225 for residents or $ 275 for non-residents.

The senior rate at Mt. Odin Golf Course will increase from USD 24 to USD 25.

Jacob Tierney is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, jtierney@triblive.com, or on Twitter.

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