Updated: Jan 12, 2021
By Jamie Wiggan
Despite widespread headwinds resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, Kennedy commissioners passed a 2021 budget projecting $1.25 million in new revenue while maintaining current property tax rates.
Totaling $15.6 million, the budget passed on Dec. 30 allocates $10.5 million to the general fund, $4.6 million for sewage and $425,000 for liquid fuel.
Treasurer and Interim Manager Mel Weinstein said new housing developments added to the books in 2020 combined with funds rolled over from a one-year freeze on the road improvement program are the main sources of additional income.
The road improvement program will be reinstated in 2021, with $700,000 set aside in the new budget.
Weighing in before passing the preliminary budget Dec. 10, commissioners spoke proudly of Kennedy’s financial outlook.
“I am truly amazed,” said Commissioner Gary Vituccio. “Over and over, we are able to balance a budget – and a low millage rate of 2.35 mills when I see all costs skyrocketing: healthcare, utilities, salaries.”
In order to keep up with service charge increases handed down by the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN), commissioners also approved a 7% sewage rate increase Dec. 30, bringing the new rate to $11.16 per 1,000 gallons.
Weinstein said the township forwards around half of what it collects in sewage income to ALCOSAN, which has raised rates countywide in recent years to fund a planned $2 billion infrastructure overhaul.
“It’s their increase that causes us to increase every year,” he said.