This article was funded by LebTown donors as part of our Civic Impact Reporting Project.

At its monthly meeting on Monday evening, Sept. 24, Lebanon City Council learned that the city’s finances are doing better than budget projections, but that it will have to pay a little more next year to keep employee pensions fully funded.

Mayor Sherry Capello told council that, through Aug. 31, with the year 67% complete, revenues were at 86% of annual projections, and expenses at just 49%.

Council also learned that the minimum required 2024 contributions to the city’s police and fire pension funds would be $947,755 and $423,613, respectively. These amounts, based on biennial actuarial studies, are the minimum contributions necessary to insure that the plans remain adequately funded.

Next year’s contributions will be higher than this year’s because the funds had a -15.9% return in 2022. The funds partly invest in stocks, and the S&P 500 stock index declined by 19.4% in 2022.

Capello noted that the two pension funds had average annual returns of over 8% the previous 20 years.

In other business, Capello reported that she has reappointed Dorothy Perez to another five-year term the city’s Design Review Board, effective July 22. The board approves outdoor art displays, such as murals. Perez represents the local arts community on the board.

In a housekeeping matter, council preliminarily approved the inclusion of four ordinances passed since 2022 in the city’s “codified ordinances.” Codification indexes all ordinances in a single database so they can be found easily. The measure will have to be approved again at next month’s meeting to take effect.

Superintendent Arthur Abrom remembered

The meeting ended on a somber note as chairman Joe Morales called for a moment of silence in memory of Lebanon School District superintendent Dr. Arthur Abrom, who died on Sunday, Sept. 24, after a long battle with cancer.

Read More: Lebanon superintendent Arthur Abrom dies after nine-year battle with cancer

“I feel like I had a great working relationship with him,” Capello said. “My heart and my prayers are with the school district, and all the teachers, staff, and students. He had a huge heart.”

Next Lebanon City Council meetings

City Council’s next pre-council planning meeting will be on Thursday, Oct. 19, at 4:45 p.m. The next regular monthly council meeting will be on Monday, Oct. 23, at 6:30 p.m.

Both meetings are open to the public and will be held in the City Hall multi-purpose room, 735 Cumberland St., first floor, Lebanon.

Meetings are also streamed live on YouTube here.

Editor’s note: Due to a publishing oversight, this article was published later than originally intended. We sincerely regret the delay.

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Chris Coyle writes primarily on government, the courts, and business. He retired as an attorney at the end of 2018, after concentrating for nearly four decades on civil and criminal litigation and trials. A career highlight was successfully defending a retired Pennsylvania state trooper who was accused,...


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