By Monica Pryts/Staff Writer
SLIPPERY ROCK —
Slippery Rock council members on Tuesday agreed to advertise the proposed budget for 2014, which doesn’t include any property tax hikes.
The tentative spending plan of $1,163,534, which carries a tax rate of 21.975 mills, will be available for public viewing at the borough building starting Monday.
A new police cruiser is part of the budget, and members of the budget and finance committee had initially considered paying for that with a loan, but they’ve decided to pay for it out of the savings account; the projected maximum cost is $32,000, said Jerry Heller, committee chair.
The budget also includes most of the “wish list” items borough officials had hoped to see for next year: a part-time employee to help with accounting and clerical work in the borough administrator’s office, which has been recommended by the auditor; a part-time employee to help the street department; two part-time patrolmen; and upgrades to the borough website.
Those items will be made possible because the cruiser is being paid for with existing funds, and also because the borough is keeping the solid waste fee at $3 instead of cutting it in half as recommended by the solid waste committee, Heller said.
The borough’s bulk trash costs could go up if council decides to change the spring pickup date from March back to May, but they have yet to make that decision. The solid waste committee had recommended $1.50 be taken out of the monthly fee to cover those rising costs.
Council member Itzi Meztli questioned whether any progress has been made on getting Tri-County Industries, the borough’s garbage hauler, to come to a council meeting, especially since March will be here soon.
“It’s like this council’s been dragging their feet,” he said.
Council Vice President Christy Tichy said the budget needs to be finalized, then they can move on to the bulk trash issue.
Meztli added he wanted taxpayers to know that the borough has $461,383 in reserves since that information isn’t included in the proposed budget document available for public viewing.
The final version of the budget will be voted on at council’s Dec. 10 meeting. Public input is welcome at that meeting and also at the Dec. 3 meeting; both start at 7 p.m.
Published Nov. 23, 2013, in Allied News. Pick up a copy at 201 A Erie St., Grove City.