Council approves $2.855-million final budget with no tax increase
YARDiEY BOROrdH – Yardley Borough approved its $2.855-million 2013 final budget Dec. 18 without a tax increase.
This marks the seventh consecutive year that there has been no real estate property tax increase in the borough.
The average property assessment in Yardley is $24,000. The average property owner pays $401.52 in real estate taxes per year, or $33.46 per month, to support borough services.
The total budget figure has increased from $2.5-million over 2012.
Borough manager John Boyle said the $2.855-million final budget is less than the preliminary budget, which was approved in November at $2.864-million.
The budget includes a pay decrease for Police Chief Jim O’Neill, who will be working 32 hours a week in 2014. His new salary has not been made public by the borough.
The two-year pact, approved by counci, is expected to be signed by the end of this year when his salary will officially become public knowledge.
Boyle noted that the cost of health care for the borough’s four full-time employees has gone down because O’Neill’s dental plan is changing from two adults to one adult.
Overall, hospitalization and health care has gone down by $1,000 or by 4.26 percent, he said.
However, Boyle said the full-time employees have a new dental package. Before, the cost of x-rays, cleaning and fluoride treatment was paid by the plan.
“That was it,” Boyle said. “Anything else was out-of-pocket. I looked into a plan that was a real dental plan.”
The budget also includes $15,000 earmarked to converting borough hall’s heating system from oil to gas.
“Eventually, there will be a savings,” he said.
Also in the budget are funds to purchase the riverfront property next to the Fitzgerald-Summer Funeral Home on Delaware Avenue (River Road) to use as a recreational park.
The county commissioners approved two grants to assist the borough in the acquisition - a municipal open space grant and a Delaware River Program grant. Together, the grants total a little more than $340,000. The borough will receive the funds primarily because the property is located along the Delaware River.
The cost to acquire the property is $500,000.
In addition to the possible open space purchase, the budget includes funds for maintenance of the historic borough hall on South Main Street, federally mandated emergency radios (which all municipalities are required to have), the Afton Avenue Streetscape Improvement Project and the North Main Street sidewalk project, which has been on the priority list for many years.
Another key item in the budget is the elevation of two homes above the floodplain through grants received from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA).
Boyle said a couple more streets will also be upgraded through the borough’s road program. About 10 streets have been done this year.
The borough is operated by property taxes, an occupation tax, a per capita tax, real estate transfer fees and the business privilege tax.