Borough Council has to find a way to balance its 2015 budget as its facing a deficit of $196,000.
The council continued its discussions on the 2015 budget in a scheduled work session before its meeting Monday.
“This is typical at this point in the budget process, and being over isn’t out of the ordinary at this point,” borough Manager Ralph Stewart said. “We still have time to look at ways we can bring those numbers down. We’ll try to bring the numbers down as best as we can to avoid an increase in taxes.”
The council approved a .7 mill tax increase last year to balance the 2014 budget and would have to increase taxes by about 2 mill to balance 2015’s tentative $3.4 million budget.
“We are about 2 mills short of breaking even, and we’ll work on those numbers in the next few weeks and hopefully be a lot closer by the next meeting,” Stewart said.
The increased expenses for 2015 are due to items the council cannot control, such as contracted wages and health insurance. The borough does not have room to grow.
“Every year is tight, because our tax base doesn’t grow, so its a very stagnant tax base,” Stewart said. “We’re nearly 100 percent filled out, so we have very little new development that adds to additional revenue. So, we’re minus both of those and stagnant in both of those areas, and typically older boroughs, older municipalities and older cities have this exact same problem.”
Mark Filetti, of South Thomas Street, spoke at the council meeting and addressed the board about parking spaces on South Thomas Street and one spot on High Street.
Filetti explained that his wife received a citation about two week ago for parking over a yellow painted line, which had a parking space’s white line painted over it.
“Most of the spots on South Thomas Street are 24 feet long, one of them is 18 feet long and the ones on High Street are 20 to 21 feet long,” Filetti said. “It is my contention that there is plenty of space for additional parking spots on South Thomas Street, and I would move that the borough have that investigated and repainted.”
Councilman Paul DeCusati said the council would look into improving parking on South Thomas Street, but any revisions would wait until at least spring 2015.