Souderton Borough ups proposed tax increase to nearly 7.7 percent
change was made because a Iull-time oIficer will be retiring the end oI -anuary and part-time oIficers will be used Ior the rest oI the year with a new Iull-time oIficer planned to be hired Ior the beginning of 2014, Coll and -ames Leary, police chieI, said.
The new proposal still wasn’t enough, though, council member Andrew Schlosser said because, although the budget didn’t show it, the borough will end this year in the red.
“We’re spending 2013 dollars right now and that’s not in this budget,” he said.
Either expenses should be cut by another $50,000 in the 2013 budget, he said, or the tax rate should be increased another 0.2 mills beyond the latest proposal.
“, thinN you need to at least build into this budget what we’re going to be short in 2012,” Schlosser said.
AIter discussing a Iew diIIerent possible rates, the consensus was to add another 0.1 mill, putting the total at 5.375 mills.
That would put the rate at only slightly more than what neighboring TelIord’s was Ior this year, Coll said, and TelIord has already said it will be increasing its rate Ior next year.
The 5.375 rate includes 4.95 mills Ior the general Iund, 0.1775 mills Ior the fire tax and 0.2475 mills Ior the library tax. This year’s 4.9925 mill rate included 4.65 mills Ior the general Iund, 0.1775 mills Ior the fire tax and 0.1650 mills Ior the library tax.
Customer bills Ior the public sewer system will not change next year under the proposed budget, Coll said, but there will be increased eIIorts to collect Irom delin- quent accounts.
“There’s close to $50,000 at various points in delinquent sewer Iees, which is troubling and we need to be more aggressive with that,” Coll said.
While attempting to find possible cuts to the budget, board member Preston 0iller said the $88,000 spent on street lights each year is one oI the places to consider.
No change was made to next year’s budget in that category, but council President Brian Goshow said a committee will be Iormed to looN into options Ior possible changes to cut the amount spent on street lights.
,n answer to a question to Leary about whether eliminating some street lights might lead to saIety concerns or an increase in crime, he said statistics show that wouldn’t happen.
There is a perception among many people, though, that street lights increase saIety and decrease crime, he said.
“, can tell you, iI a street light’s out, I get a call on it,” Leary said.
The proposed budget includes planned worN at Chestnut Street Playground, but no borough spending on it since the Iunding will come Irom an expected 0ontgomery County Community Development BlocN Grant and Iundraising eIIorts in the community, Coll said.
A proposed renovation and restoration project at the Iormer train station is at risN oI losing already approved grants iI deadlines Ior using the money are not met, so that project has to be kept moving, he said.
“We’re looNing to at least try to start up the train station project” sometime within the next year, Coll said.