No tax hike in Oil City budget

Oil City Council offered a little tease about the 2020 city budget at a brief meeting Thursday.

While city department heads and council continue to crunch the numbers, the overall result is expected to be a positive one.

“No tax hike, no cut in services, no layoffs,” said Mayor Bill Moon.

The budget, due for a first public reading at council’s Nov. 21 meeting, would mark the fifth consecutive spending plan that holds the line on city property taxes.

The 2019 budget, pegged at about $21.3 million, was adopted despite worries that city revenues remained flat, said city manager Mark Schroyer at last year’s budget considerations.

Last year’s budget, though, did include slight increases in water, sewage, garbage and recycling bills for customers. Details on those categories for 2020 will not be decided until the preliminary budget is accepted.

In addition to typical city expenditures, the street paving category will remain “robust” in the 2020 budget, said Schroyer.

If the early budget projection holds true, the property tax levy will remain at 11.92 mills.

The Act 511 taxes, a class that includes per capita tax, earned income tax, realty transfer tax and local services tax, will remain intact for 2020.

In other business Thursday, council voted to promote two city police officers to lieutenant positions. They are Cory Ruditis and Steven Rembold.

In addition, council approved naming patrolman William McDevitt to a full-time position with the city. McDevitt recently completed his probationary period with the city police force.

In another matter, the Oil City Rotary Club was given permission to set up a Christmas tree in Town Square as part of the city’s Christmas Past festivities.

The tree will be placed in the downtown park by mid-November just prior to the Dec. 5 Light-Up Night.

Council members also agreed to have an underground lighting fixture repaired in the park to allow for the tree illumination.