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Delmont likely to hold line on taxes

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Part-time officers get raise

Delmont officials Tuesday agreed to raise the pay rate of part-time police officers based on cumulative hours of service.

The starting rate for new officers will increase by $1 to $12. Officers will receive a $1 raise between seven months and three years of service and will earn $14 after three years of service.

Once an officer has worked for the department for three years, borough officials will keep track of the number of hours worked. Once the officer has worked 6,240 hours – the equivalent of three years of full-time work – he will receive another $1 raise.

Part-time officer pay will cap at $15 per hour, Council President Jim Bortz said.

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By Daveen Rae Kurutz
Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Delmont's budget will take a little longer than usual to approve this year because officials forgot to vote to advertise the budget in November.

Borough council will approve the proposed $1.036 million budget at a special meeting on Dec. 30.

“It's on time, but it could have been done a month ago,” Council President Jim Bortz said. “We've got a lot accomplished here, and we're still able to save money.

The proposal does not include a tax increase but has about $92,000 in undesignated funds. The borough property tax rate will remain at 18 mills, officials said. The owner of a home assessed at $25,000 — the average borough value — will continue to pay about $450 in property taxes.

Delmont residents will, however, pay a bit more in their sewage bills next year. Council agreed to raise the borough sewage rate by $4 to $45.25 per month.

The increase will help pay a nearly $1 million loan the borough obtained to complete work on the Cramer Pump Station and to build capital funds for sewage projects. Finance committee member Andrew Shissler said another sewage increase is likely in a few years to help offset some costs.

The increase is expected to generate about $60,000 annually, engineer Kevin Brett said.

Delmont has enough money left over at the end of this budget year to avoid obtaining a tax-anticipation loan to pay borough expenses at the start of 2014, Bortz said.

“This council is able to treat Delmont borough as a business, not a free enterprise that hands out money to whomever wants it,” Bortz said. “We make everybody accountable. Everybody has accepted that responsibility.”

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