JEANNETTE (KDKA) – The city of Jeannette has been struggling financially for years, and a decreasing population has been causing an eroding tax base.
And the city is starting the year with more than $1.4 million in obligations.
Last week, the crunch became even greater when a county judge ordered the city to pay more than $235,000 to Frank Trigona.
Trigona became known for his four goats that wandered the streets of Jeannette, but years earlier in 2005 the city withheld occupancy and health permits for Trigona’s rental properties because he had not paid his taxes.
The settlement covers Trigona’s damages and legal fees.
The city also owes about $350,000 to the police pension fund for last year, in addition to about $546,000 for the coming year.
Police layoffs are one move being considered, along with selling equipment including a fire truck that is no longer in use and possibly a street sweeper.
Jeannette Mayor Robert Carters described the situation saying, “Our backs our against the ropes, but we are not out of the fight.”
Jeannette is also trying to avoid an Act 47 takeover and being deemed as “financially distressed.”
The city is in the state’s early intervention program where a liason tries to guide the city in the right direction.