-ON THE AGENDA-
By Elizabeth Perry
McKees Rocks' latest audit shows that despite a deficit of $360,000, the borough was “in a good spot” in 2021.
“Much better than you were 10 years ago,” said Accountant Kim Turnley, who presented the audit findings to the board during the Oct. 11 voting meeting.
The total expenditure for the year was $4,321,849.
By far the greatest expenditure for the borough was funding the police. More than a quarter of money was dedicated to policing.
The borough spent $1,696,683 on just the police force.
In comparison, total expenditures for government administration were $1,001,983.
In 2021, the borough held off on spending $307,000 in COVID-19 relief money and reserved $348,000 in liquid fuels for road repaving projects which were performed in 2022.
With the exception of 2021, the borough had managed a balanced budget for the past five years. The borough refunded its bond issues in order to get a better rate, Turnley said.
According to the audit, the original bonds were taken out in 2009 and 2016 for a total of $1,941,908 in debt.
In 2017 the borough began with a $600,000 fund balance and ended 2021 with a $1.3 million fund balance, Turnley said.
Turnley said the borough earned an “unmodified opinion in accordance with all the accounting rules, there were no internal control findings of any sort, nothing with any sort of misappropriation of assets.”
Turnley mentioned the hiring of a borough manager to replace Ruth Pompey put the borough in a more stable position as well. LeeAnn Wozniak replaced Pompey. The board accepted Pompey’s retirement May 24, after a long stint of unpaid sick leave. Pompey passed away on Sept. 29 and was remembered with a moment of silence at the start of council meeting.
Council member Joe Mixter said in an interview after the meeting he was proud of the borough’s increasing financial stability. Since he’d served as a council member, the borough had gone up three grades to an A bond rating, Mixter said.
3rd Street Park
In other news, council unanimously voted to approve payment in the sum of $69,938 to Jeffrey Associates for the 3rd Street Park Revitalization Project.
The sum is reimbursable to the borough through a county grant.
At this point the project is nearly complete. The contractor needs to provide picnic benches for use at Rangers Field, which will be delivered sometime this month, Borough Engineer Doug Evans said.
“We’ve received a lot of good feedback from council and borough residents,” Evans said.
The project includes improvements to the 3rd Street Park and 3rd Street Parklet. A ramp was added to the park, along with soft material for ground cover in the play area and a new swingset in the parklet which allows for two children or a parent and child to swing at once while facing one another.
“We actually made it a little bigger, and they did a nice job. That park is always used,” Mixter said.