Borough Commissioners approve budget

The 2018 municipal budget was approved on second reading, with only one change.

The agenda for the Tuesday, May 22, borough commission meeting was light. The 2018 municipal budget was approved on second reading, with only one change.

Commissioners approved the 2018 municipal budget. The total borough budget is at $18.3 million, of which about $11.4 million will be raised in municipal property taxes, according to Commissioner Jeff Kasko. This represents a 2.09 increase from last year for property taxes.

“For the seventh year in a row, we have flat state funding,” Kasko said.

For the median assessed property of $448,481, the proposed 2018 local municipal tax levy will be $2,465, which is an increase of $50 over last year’s rate.

According to Kasko, the $18.3 million funds a number of services, including new staff hires and personnel changes in the borough, and includes funds for debt service.

“Almost 30 percent (debt service) primarily due to Bancroft property acquisition costs, notes and bonds issued to purchase the property,” Kasko said.

Borough officials also highlighted another “large part” of the annual capital budget concerning the borough’s road program, for which commissioners have funding set at $1.7 million for road construction and redesign.

However, according to the borough, it continues to use proceeds from the sale of the water and sewer utility several years back to offset debt service, which allows the borough to increase the amount of cash being used for the road program.

Although most everything remained consistent with the original introduction of the budget, the borough amended a line item in the budget

“We have to make one change,” Kasko said. “It’s really just an accounting change to create a new line item of $23,880 for health benefit waivers,”

Kasko explained some employees who do not take the health benefit plan receive a payment for not taking it. The state requires the borough to make a separate line item, according to Kasko.

The next borough hall meeting will take place on June 12 at 7:30 p.m.

In Other News:

A proclamation on Gun Violence Awareness Day will be made on June 1.