Oil City Council Takes Second Look at Budget, Discusses Possible Traffic Problem

| December 7, 2018

OIL CITY, Pa. (EYT) – The Oil City Council took a second look at the 2019 budget at Thursday evening’s meeting.

A number of budgetary ordinances passed on second reading at the Oil City Council meeting.

The ordinances include Council bills for making appropriations for municipal purposes and imposing taxes and fees for general revenue purposes in the coming year. In addition, included are amendments to articles for establishing a revised schedule of rates for water furnished and provided within and outside the city, and establishing a revised schedule of rates for sewage provided inside or outside the city.

According to a previous article posted by Explore’s Chris Rossetti, for the fourth straight year, Oil City is holding the line on taxes.

The total budget is $21,371,989.00.

The real-estate tax will be 11.92 mills broken down as follows to 8.56 mills for general fund purposes, 2.17 mills for parks, playgrounds and recreation areas, 1.01 mills for the City’s public library and 0.18 mills to pay interest and principal on indebtedness incurred pursuant to the “Local Government Debt Act.”

In addition to the real-estate tax, there will be a $10.00 per capita tax, an Earned Income Tax of 1 percent, a Realty Transfer tax of 1 percent and a Local Services Tax of $52.00. In addition, a residence tax will be $5.00 and business license fees were set as follows: $100.00 on gross receipts exceeding $100,000.00, $50.00 on gross receipts between $5,000.00 and $100,000.00, and $25.00 on gross receipts less than $5,000.00 or a new business.

Again, all these taxes are unchanged from 2018.

As part of the proposed budget, the city anticipates doing a $475,000.00 paving program.

In a previous meeting, city manager Mark Schroyer said there are a few waterline/water-crossing projects that needed to be budgeted for including water lines on East 2nd Street and Cowell Avenue and water-crossing projects crossing both Oil Creek and the Allegheny Rivers.

A third and final reading will be conducted at the January meeting to officially pass all of the budgetary items.

While taxes are holding the line, there will be increases to the City’s water and sewage and garbage and recycling rates.

CONCERN OVER INTERSECTION OF SENECA AND CENTER STREETS

The intersection of Seneca and Center Streets was a topic of some discussion.

Council member Dale Massie voiced some concern over traffic issues he has witnessed at the intersection.

“I saw a semi-truck trying to turn right from Seneca Street onto Center, and the problem is the cars had to back up because of that outcrop with the flowers in it, they didn’t have room to turn,” Massie said.

Massie went on to suggest the possibility of placing a sign at the intersection saying no right turn for trucks.

“A lot of trucks don’t do it. If they’ve been here before they know to go out the other way, but some that aren’t familiar with it will make that turn, and it causes a lot of congestion,” Massie continued.

The council members discussed the intersection, and all noted the narrow nature of the street at the intersection in question does sometimes lead to problems with trucks making turns.

No decisions were made, but Mayor Bill Moon said he will be discussing the matter with the chief of police and looking further into how many incidents have been reported at the intersection.

PERSONNEL CHANGE

– Council approved the resignation of Steven Hinds as the city’s Emergency Management Coordinator.

– Council approved the acceptance of Oil City’s Fire Chief Mark Hicks as the city’s Emergency Management Coordinator.

OTHER BUSINESS

In other business the council:

  • Passed on a second-reading basis a council bill amending the garbage, rubbish, and refuse and recycling code of the city pertaining to collecting fees for services and the definition of the term “household rubbish”.
  • Heard an update on the status of the Cornplanter Square project: the Venango County Economic Development Authority (VCEDA) is currently reviewing the bids for the selective demolition and environmental abatement project and the roof replacement project while also working with the project architect to finalize the construction documents and bidding materials for the door and window replacement project.
  • Heard an update on the status of the Multimodal Hub project: Phase 1 is nearly complete, and public advertisement of bids for Phase 2 will begin once the property transfer between PennDOT and the county is complete.

NOTE: Chris Rossetti contributed to this article.


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