Proposed Bellefonte budget comes with millage increase

Borough council talked money at its work session Monday night.

The proposed 2017 budget includes a 1 mill increase in the real estate tax rate, said Ralph Stewart, borough manager.

Bellefonte’s millage rate now is 14.265.

The 1 mill increase accounts for $90,000, which will pay for $87,000 worth of uncovered costs in the budget, Stewart said.

The remaining $3,000 can be used as a cushion, he said.

Stewart added that the budget is “bare bones” and “no frills.”

The borough did not have a rate increase last year.

Residents interested in inspecting the budget can view it at the borough office, located at 236 W. Lamb St. The borough plans to approve its budget at the Dec. 19 meeting.

In other business

Also during the work session, Assistant Borough Manager Don Holderman presented to council on the finances associated with the waterfront revitalization project.

The expenditures — to date — on the project are $6,145,153.

Holderman said the expenditures are mostly solidified, except for attorney fees and interest.

The borough received $2.7 million from the state Office of Budget, as part of a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program grant, for the project, which includes a walkway along Spring Creek.

Holderman added that he anticipates an additional $100,000 from the state after the rest of the invoices are submitted.

Though, that money might be held by the state until after an audit is completed, he said.

The borough took out two loans for the project — a Northwest loan for $3.5 million and a bridge loan for about $1.5 million.

The money from the state grant was used to pay off one of the borough’s loans completely, Holderman said.

To date, the borough has paid $221,926 in interest.

“I think that was illuminating,” borough council President Gay Dunne said of the presentation.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz