City pension obligation at $3.9 million

City Council learned Thursday it will cost $3.9 million to fund municipal pensions.

That’s $153,427 more than it cost this year, according to William E. Nichols Jr., city finance director.

That figure is the minimal municipal obligation required to fund the pensions for fire, police, officers and employees.

“Where does that come from?” asked Councilman N. Clifford “Skip” Smith.

“Next year’s budget, unless the state can provide revenue,” Nichols said.

Later, Nichols told the Sun-Gazette the state revenue is not going to cover it. He estimated the state revenue might be at $10,000 to $30,000, meaning the city likely will be looking at a $100,000 increase for pensions in 2015.

“The city’s obligation to fund pensions is a 4-percent increase,” Nichols said.

He considered that to be “stable,” based on the cost of inflations and was hoping to meet assumptions based on investment returns, which is one way pensions are calculated, he said.

In other business conducted, council:

Granted conditional use for the Williamsport Islamic Center, 322 Locust St., for a worship center.

Approved demolition of a property at 354 Academy St., owned by Frank Morrone

Authorized certificates of appropriateness for James Malee at 310 and 312 E. Third St. and for Rapmitco Properties Co., 228 Government Place. These regarded painting of buildings.