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West Newton holds property taxes steady

| Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, 9:16 p.m.

West Newton Council passed an unchanged 2013 budget with no tax increases.

At a Dec. 26 special meeting, council passed next year's budget with property tax millage remaining the same.

West Newton's budget was balanced at $765,165.

“We were good with it” without making any changes, said council member Chris Luikart, head of the finance committee.

The total amount for the budget has increased, but no noticeable changes were made to most line items.

Council approved $18,000 that will be allocated toward the possible purchase of a new police car, Luikart said.

“We only put part of the money as a line item, we'll find savings throughout the year” to cover the entire cost, he said.

West Newton Police Department's current vehicles are 2008 and 2009 models.

Luikart said when exactly they purchase the car depends on dealerships' sales cycles.

Council President George Molovich said even if the cars cannot be replaced until 2014, this allocation would allow for any major repairs necessary to keep them in service patrolling the borough.

“We can get that stashed away ... if something bad happens to one of them,” he said.

Molovich said he was glad the budget could remain the same without any major cuts.

“We pretty much maintained everything the way it was,” he said.

No borrowing is planned from the fund balance, Luikart said. It remains about $400,000, even after a one-mil tax increase was voted down for 2012 and about $9,650 will have to be taken to balance the budget. The final total will not be available until January, Luikart said.

One mill generates $17,000 in revenue for West Newton.

In this economy, Molovich said he's glad to keep the borough's finances in check.

“A balanced budget's a good thing in these times,” he said.

With the completion of the sewage upgrades and other projects, Luikart said he is anxious for the new year.

“On to 2013 to make things happen,” he said.

In other business, council approved accountants Cypher and Cypher, based in Canonsburg, to complete the 2012 audits.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 724-836-6660.

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