HomePalmyra NewsPalmyra council adopts $11-million budget

Palmyra council adopts $11-million budget

Borough saw significant increases in trash collection efforts

As borough officials attempted to balance the 2024 municipal budget, they were met with significant increases in trash collection efforts and mandatory obligations.

They included state-mandated stormwater management requirements; general liability insurance, including workers’ compensation and cyberrisk premiums; and mandatory health benefits and pension contributions for borough employees.

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The borough is currently transitioning trash collection to in house. Solid waste collection costs increased by $185,048, from $307,395 in 2023 to $492,443 this year. Salaries and wages for the public works department increased by almost $46,777, from $76,801 to $123,578, according to council’s budget.

Despite all this, the $11-million spending plan maintains or expands all existing services and includes a 3% increase for staff, officials said. Council held a public hearing and unanimously adopted the 2024 budget – which increased by $336,167 from last year – at a May 6 meeting.

The budget increases the local municipal tax rate to $1.42407 per $100 of assessed valuation, up about $0.037 over last year. For a home assessed at the borough average of $148,798.50, the increase amounts to $57.14 per year ($14.28 per quarter/$4.76 per month) or 2.77% over last year. This year’s total municipal property tax for a home assessed at the borough’s average is $2,118.99.

Municipal taxes are one item on a property tax bill, which also includes school and county taxes. The budget fully funds the police department at $1.56 million, an increase of $9,157 from last year. The force includes 17 officers, a police clerk and three Class I Special Officers.

The budget also continues funding for the Palmyra Fire Department Volunteer Participation and Stipend Program, which pays firefighters a $150 per-day stipend to staff the firehouse. It is budgeted as a $78,000 annual expense.

The borough used $2 million in fund balance or surplus this year to reduce the local purpose tax; an additional $680,000 was used from the PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) funds from the warehouse construction project on Route 73. The borough receives $1 million a year from the warehouse property owner through the PILOT funds, officials said.

The borough still maintains about $3.8 million in fund balance for use in future years, contributing to the borough’s strong financial position, officials said.

Sewer utility budget

The 2024 Sewer Utility budget stands at just over $2.2 million, with spending on wastewater treatment and operations, debt service, and salaries down from last year’s total of about $2.3 million. Council has also increased the discount seniors can claim to $30 per year.

The Sewer Utility budget maintains or expands all existing services and includes 3% increases for utility employees.

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