Budget talks are slated to begin during Monday’s council meeting with a newly reorganized layout the borough hopes will simplify discussion and help residents follow more easily.
According to the general fund summary, the proposed 2015 budget calculates revenues at $24.2 million and expenditures at $25 million. About $811,523 will be used from the available $5.5 million fund balance, leaving the balance at about $4.7 million.
The budget also proposes a 3.36 mill tax increase, which will yield about $1.5 million. For a home with a market value of $200,000, this represents an additional $191 a year.
“The budget is set up so residents can get a brief executive summary of some of the budget highlights we think are important for the Borough Council and community to know in terms of how we are trying to make sure we have a balanced budget,” communication and special projects coordinator Courtney Hayden said.
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The budget this year is based on departmental structure, she said, separating it into the five departments in the borough — administration, parking, planning, police and public works. All funds have been included in these departments as well, instead of separating the general funds from other self-containing funds.
The best example of this, she said, is within the Public Works Department. Funds for some sections of the department are within the general funds, like administration or facility management.
But some funds are self-contained, she said, like fees collected for refuse collection. These fees are taken in directly by the department then used within the department to support itself.
“We did this so it’s clear to the community exactly where we’re spending their money,” Hayden said, “where the taxpayer dollars are going and how those other funds that may have been separate before apply.”
Monday’s budget talks will include financial trends, the debt management schedule, capital improvements and detail on receipts.
Budget reviews are slated through November into December until the expected adoption vote on Dec. 15. Community residents are encouraged to attend budget review sessions.
The full budget can be found on the borough’s website.