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Capital improvement projects would change Brentwood budget numbers

| Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, 9:08 p.m.

Tax increases would be necessary to Brentwood Borough's $7.4 million preliminary 2013 budget if council wants to move forward with several capital improvement projects, including financing the construction of a new municipal facility.

Borough council met Tuesday night for the first of two workshops for the 2013 budget. The general fund, as is, is balanced and requires no tax increase.

Residents face as much as a 3.65-mill increase if borough council decides to move forward with plans to construct a new municipal building, establish a sustainable road program schedule and purchase departmental equipment such as police and public works vehicles, said George Zboyovsky, borough manager.

“Any increase in taxes are going to be solely for capital improvements,” Zboyovsky said.

Borough council started meeting in May to discuss items in the budget.

Before including the capital improvements fund, property reassessments will begin on Jan. 1, leaving Brentwood Borough with a 23 percent increase or roughly $78.2 million more, Zboyovsky said. To remain revenue neutral, Brentwood will have to decrease taxes by 1.5 mills, from 8.5 to 7. With the 5 percent windfall, millage can remain as high as 7.35.

The capital improvements fund includes an estimated $550,000 in annual payments for an $11 million general obligation bond if the borough moves forward to construct new municipal facility building, Zboyovsky said. Capital improvements also would include $700,000 for a road maintenance program and $75,000 for equipment needs.

To accomplish all capital improvements, revenues would have to increase by 3.65 mills, Zboyovsky said. That's $24 more per month to property owners, he said.

But Brentwood officials still are collecting information about financing a new municipal building, so the estimated bond numbers could be lower, Zboyovsky said. Mayor Kenneth Lockhart said he thinks borough council should wait until there are more solid financial numbers before moving forward with the project.

“Let it go for another year,” Lockhart said. “There's no hurry.”

The second Brentwood Borough Council 2013 budget workshop is scheduled for Nov. 14 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the municipal building. The meeting is open to the public.

Laura Van Wert is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5814 or at lvanwert@tribweb.com.

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