Kulpmont council approves tentative budget for 2013
KULPMONT - The borough's tentative 2013 budget shows the anticipated costs to construct a new municipal building and garage.
Kulpmont Borough Council approved the first draft of next year's spending plan Tuesday night on a 6-0 vote with members Bruno Varano, Joseph Winhofer, Philip Scicchitano, Nicholas Bozza, Stephen Motyka and Stephanie Niglio voting for it. Council member Clarence Deitrick was absent.
General fund receipts and expenditures are at $2,142,825, highway fund receipts and expenditures are at $120,575 and police pension fund receipts are at $297,400 and expenditures at $20,500 for the tentative spending plan. The budget has increased by more than $1.5 million over 2012's plan.
The tentative budget will not require raising taxes in 2013; however, taxes are expected to go up in 2014 if the borough receives a loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the design and construction of a new borough building and garage.
"We don't anticipate raising taxes in 2013 because we won't be applying for the loan until later in the year," borough treasurer Paul Niglio said. "In 2014, we will have to increase taxes to pay for the loan."
Officials have said in the past the costs to repair and maintain their current office, the former Wilson Grade School, are becoming too expensive. In next year's budget, the borough lists $18,000 to pay for heating fuel and $12,000 for electricity for the municipal building.
Borough officials say the old building also needs $400,000 in roof repairs, $250,000 for masonry repairs and a new heating system that will cost $100,000. Estimates from the borough's engineer indicate $24,000 to $30,000 a year could be saved in heating costs alone with the new building.
Residents against the project said Kulpmont residents, many of whom are elderly and on a fixed income, cannot afford a tax increase, especially in the current economic climate.
"Look, everyone here on council pays the same amount of taxes that residents do," Varano said. "We don't like raising taxes, but we have to do it to for the good of the borough."
To start the ball rolling, the council unanimously approved an agreement with Shaffer Design Associates, of Gettysburg, to design the new building, giving them a $3,500 down payment for the work.
In other business, Joe Cesari said cameras are being set up at the new tot lot playground at the Terry Miriello Stadium to deter vandalism and other crimes.
One-way parking restrictions on all north and south running streets has been lifted until April 1.
Council member Winhofer was re-appointed on a 6-0 vote for a five-year term on the Kulpmont-Marion Heights Joint Sewer Authority.