Officials set long-term spending plan
For the first time in Baldwin Borough's nearly 60-year history, a plan has been made detailing how officials will pay for major capital expenditures in the next five years.
Officials also hope to put aside money in the bank — totalling more than $900,000 in the next five years — to serve as a capital reserve, or “rainy day fund,” to be there in case of an emergency.
“I think it's a wise decision by this council,” said council Vice President Michael Stelmasczyk, chairman of the finance committee.
Borough council, in two unanimous votes at its final meeting of the year last week, approved the establishment of a five-year capital improvement program and the adoption of a fund balance policy. The capital improvement program goes from 2013 to 2017.
“I see this as important because it is a responsibility that we have to the taxpayers of this community,” Stelmasczyk said.
“We now have in place a five-year capital program which now includes dedicated funding and identifies specific capital projects to improve the borough. The fund balance policy shows council's intent to have an ongoing ‘emergency/contingency' fund to help our community through any unexpected events. This is a first for this borough. A balanced general fund budget, a five-year capital program and a fund balance policy demonstrate that our borough is being managed by fiscally responsible elected officials. Our federal government could take a lesson from us.”
Road paving projects, engineering expenses, rock salt, street lighting, vehicle maintainence and repairs and parks and building improvements all will be paid for through the municipality's newly formed capital improvement program starting in 2013, with funding sources outlined.
The capital improvement program — with budgetary items that were previously included in the borough's general fund — uses one time funding sources from the town's capital improvement program, grant fund proceeds and escrow account, totalling nearly $150,000.
Annual funding sources — including liquid fuels, real estate tax paving funds and capital reserve — also will help to support the capital improvement program, with $2,005,669 in revenues and $1,677,213 in expenditures planned for 2013.
Any surplus to the borough's annual budget each year, also, will be put into a reserve fund, Stelmasczyk said.
In the past, that money was used to balance the next year's budget, something borough Manager John Barret has called a dangerous practice.
During council's budget discussions this year, Barrett told council members that the formation of a capital improvement program and fund balance policy is important for a town of Baldwin's size.
“I really embrace it,” he said at the time. “I think it's something we kind of owe ourselves.”
The newly adopted fund balance policy states the borough's intent to have a reserve fund that equals between 5 and 10 percent of its annual general fund budget. Baldwin's 2013 general fund budget is $10,867,935.
The capital improvement program outlines a $958,205 capital reserve, or fund balance, for the borough in 2017.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Baldwin-Whitehall School District proceeds with dairy contract
- Former school building in Baldwin Borough might be sold
- School resource officer OK’d for WJH schools
- Banner program honors military service
- Longtime Whitehall councilman steps down, replacement named
- Changes await swimmers as Brentwood pool returns
- Baldwin Borough council OKs bond for work
- Column: From computers to programming, it’s free at the library
- Whitehall man gets probation, quits school board race
- Arsenic testing approved for site of new Thomas Jefferson High School