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Baldwin officials trim early budget numbers

| Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012, 12:19 p.m.

Adjustments and alterations to an early draft of Baldwin Borough's 2013 budget enabled officials to reduce a proposed $1 million deficit by nearly $700,000.

Borough Manager John Barrett told council members last week during a special budget meeting that there were several options that would take a proposed deficit in 2013 of $1,059,742 to about $346,134.

Yet, the preliminary budget — with $11.3 million in revenues and $11.7 million in expenditures in the general fund — remains unbalanced.

“Really there's two ways to do it: increase revenues or decrease expenditures,” Barrett said.

Due to a countywide reassessment, all municipalities in the region must pass an equalization ordinance that would adjust its millage to become “revenue neutral,” Barrett said.

Municipalities do have the option to take 5 percent additional real estate tax revenue during the millage adjustment, he said.

Barrett said the additional 5 percent would generate $333,000 in revenue for Baldwin in 2013.

This draft of Baldwin's budget also allows for the borough to have a $600,000 surplus in the 2012 budget, up from the initially anticipated $400,000.

It also allows for a transfer of $118,848 from the Highway Aid fund to the general fund, money that could be used for several projects including roads, officials said.

Yet, a reduction in streetlights this year and minimal use of rock salt last winter allowed for this “unique” savings, Barrett said.

With extra money still being needed to balance the budget, council members said one option could be to require cuts to all department budgets, possibly as much as 2 percent.

Council members will hold additional budget meetings at 6 p.m. on Tuesday and Oct. 23 and Nov. 13.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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