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Notebook: Crafton pool slated for upgrades; Heidelberg property tax rate staying put

| Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Crafton

Crafton's community pool will get a boost in next year's budget.

The budget for parks is $145,000, compared to $80,000 this year. Most of the money will benefit the pool, available to Crafton residents and those who live in Rosslyn Farms, Ingram and Thornburg.

“We just completed our master plan for our parks and swimming pool, and the first phase includes improvements to the swimming pool,” borough manager Robert Callen said.

Potential pool improvements include a wading area, slides, water features and other in-pool amenities.

The preliminary budget, scheduled for approval on Dec. 9, allows for a 2 percent increase — from $4.2 million in 2013 to $4.3 million in 2014.

The budget can be viewed online at www.crafton.org/budgets or in the borough offices.

Heidelberg

Officials in Heidelberg plan to hold the line on property taxes in 2014.

The tax rate will remain at 6.95 mills, borough manager Joe Kauer said.

The budget, scheduled for approval on Dec. 17, is $811,167, up 6 percent from the 2013 budget of $760,589.

Some highlights include a decrease in how much the borough will spend on real estate tax refunds — the borough paid $20,000 this year. It has budgeted $1,000 for 2014.

The $20,000 was a result of the 2013 property reassessments, and the money was used to pay for the appeal refunds, Kauer said.

“We do not foresee that issue in 2014, as many of the appeals are now behind us,” he said.

In public works, $35,000 was budgeted next year for a new police cruiser. Kauer said it is not yet certain whether the cruiser will be an addition to the current fleet or a replacement vehicle.

The preliminary budget is up for public review, and is available online at http://heidelbergpa.tripod.com/id17.html or in the borough municipal building. The final budget will be voted on by council at 7 p.m. Dec. 17.

Green Tree

Green Tree borough officials project no tax increase next year.

The preliminary budget holds property taxes at 3.61 mills.

The 2014 general fund is slated at $7.7 million, down 1 percent from 2013's $8.5 million. The borough is projecting it will use $7 million of that this year.

“We had some better-than-expected revenues this year and controlled expenditures,” borough manager David Montz said.

Big-ticket items in next year's budget include an increase to police spending and parks.

Parks and public property spending includes an increase of $44,000. Of the $180,000 budgeted, $55,000 for capital projects.

Montz said this will go toward playground equipment designed for children between 2 and 5 years old.

The budget also includes $20,000 toward a part-time police officer. Montz said this money is there only if council chooses to use a part-time officer.

“It's there in case they decide they want to go that route,” he said. “It is absolutely not to replace any officers — it is only to supplement the workforce.”

The budget can be viewed online at www.greentreeboro.com or in the borough offices.

Megan Guza is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5810 or mguza@tribweb.com.

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