Sayre's tentative budget keeps tax rate steady
Sayre borough residents can expect their tax rate to remain the same in 2013 under the borough's tentative budget.
The tax rate for 2013 is expected to remain at 10.37 mills, borough manager Dave Jarrett said Tuesday after presenting the tentative budget to members of the council's administration committee. The borough's tax rate has held steady at 10.37 mills since 2010.
The budget is tentatively set at about $8.4 million, including $3.5 million in the general fund. Jarrett said the borough is financially in good shape coming into the next fiscal year, with higher than expected earned income tax revenues.
Given an increase in expenses, particularly in health insurance and benefit costs, "it's quite an accomplishment," Jarrett said. "We're pretty much where we need to be."
The tentative budget will fully fund all current programs while allowing the borough to maintain its capital reserve funds and increase its contribution to the Sayre Public Library by $5,000, Jarrett said. In addition, the 2013 proposed budget includes the hiring of a full-time public works position eliminated several years ago due to budget issues.
Road construction and park budgets will remain the same, and the police budget is "back to normal" following construction of the new police department building, Jarrett said. The fire budget is set to include a scheduled fire truck purchase, to which Jarrett said Guthrie may contribute funds.
Jarrett said he does not plan to propose an increase in sewer rates immediately, but may request an increase after construction on the sewer plant's upgrade has finished.
Jarrett does plan to ask the council to vote on whether to raise space rental in the borough's municipal parking lot from $15 to $20 a month, beginning in July 2013. The increase will help to offset the costs of the recent parking lot improvement project, he said.
The budget does not include funds the borough is expected to receive from the impact fee levied on natural gas companies because an exact figure is not available yet, Jarrett said.
After review from the administration committee, the full council will receive the budget for inspection. A vote to advertise the tentative budget could occur as early as next week's council meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. Oct. 17.
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.