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Baldwin Borough advertises budget

| Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, 12:16 p.m.

Those lengthy discussion and heated debates during the last several months surrounding Baldwin Borough's 2013 budget netted many changes to the funding plan that once had a roughly $1 million shortfall.

Now, the budget is balanced. There is a five-year capital improvement program in Baldwin Borough for the first time in the town's history that will help guide future investments. And the budget includes funding for an additional patrolman and an increase to the road improvement program — now set at $800,000 — without plans to raise taxes.

“While there's a lot of compromise in this budget, the things that stand out to me were how everyone around this table kind of rolled up their sleeves, got into each line item and we did eliminate – in a budget that at that point I was saying there was not a lot of fat – we were able to find about $75,000 of cuts that would be made to the general fund,” borough Manager John Barrett said at council's special budget meeting Tuesday.

“We've done a lot of to make a lot of improvements right away in 2013 and keep that intact over time. I really think this is the start of getting on a really good track of being responsible with our tax dollars and having that rainy day fund and for us to start taking care of some capital things,” he added.

Council members, in a 6-0 vote on Tuesday, agreed to advertise the borough's 2013 budget, which includes a $10,867,935 general fund and $7,866,627 sewer fund.

In a separate 6-0 vote, council members agreed to advertise the 2013-17 capital improvement program which includes $1,677,213 in expenditures for 2013. Councilman Ed Moeller was absent.

Yet, the tax rate for the borough remains unknown, officials said.

“The only thing that's still a variable is the millage and we need numbers from the county to get that,” Barrett said.

There is no increase to borough real estate taxes planned for 2013. However, once the tax rate is balanced to “revenue neutral,” based on final certified reassessment numbers, Baldwin officials said they do plan to take an additional 5-percent windfall, which likely will equal about $233,075.

The borough's 2012 real estate tax rate was 6.61 mills.

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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