No tax increase in Athens Borough's tentative budget
Despite a significant reduction in its tax revenues, Athens Borough will keep its tax rate for 2013 steady under its tentative 2013 budget.
Borough officials made adjustments to the proposed 2013 budget, which was presented to the council Monday, after last year's flood led to a substantial reduction in real estate tax revenue, said council president Bill Cotton. The tentative budget allows the borough to compensate for revenue losses without a tax increase, he said.
The ordinance that will again set the tax levy at 18 mills will be presented at the council's Nov. 14 meeting, Cotton said. A public hearing on the proposed budget will also be held at that time, and the council will vote on its adoption in December.
The total budget for 2013 is proposed at $2,275,927, a reduction of $4,312.75 from 2012, according to figures provided by the borough.
The general fund, tentatively set at $1,268,440, is a roughly $6,500 increase over 2012's general fund. However, the borough's street maintenance fund is proposed to decrease by about $1,140, to $69,902, and sewer revenue is expected to drop by over $9,600, from $901,209.12 to $891,520. The borough's library and fire equipment funds, tentatively set at $11,515 and $34,550, will remain nearly steady.
Sewer rates are proposed to increase again in 2013, according to information from the borough. Sewer rates for residential customers, which increased from $75 to $100 per quarter in April, are proposed to be raised to $140 per quarter. Commercial rates for those who pay per thousand gallons of water are tentatively set to increase from $6.80 to $9.52 per thousand.
Municipalities have cited the ongoing $17 million improvement project at the Valley's joint sewer plant - financed by Athens Borough as well as Sayre and South Waverly boroughs and Athens Township - as a primary reason for raising sewer rates.
Council members also agreed to waive their stipends for the year 2013 - a gesture made every year since 2008 - and accepted the resignation of Jeff Gallick from the Valley Joint Sewer Authority board.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.