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West Newton calls for no tax increase in preliminary budget

| Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

West Newton Council accepted a proposed budget for 2013 with no tax increase.

While it is a balanced budget, the total expenses for 2013 at $765,165 is an increase of $36,196 from 2012 total expenses.

No noticeable changes were made to line items, said council member Chris Luikart, head of the finance committee.

“We just had a little bit more income, so we're going to project more income,” he said after council's meeting Monday night.

Council President George Molovich said $18,000 will be allocated toward the purchase of a new police car, planned for 2014.

The current West Newton Police Department cars are 2008 and 2009 models, he said.

Overall, Molovich said he was happy with the way the budget is planned.

“We didn't have any major cuts or anything this year,” he said. “It all worked out pretty well.”

The final budget will be voted on at a special meeting at 6 p.m. Dec. 26 in the municipal building.

After a one-mill tax increase was voted down last year, about $9,560 will be used from the fund balance to make up for a shortage in 2012 revenues.

One mill generates $17,000 in revenue for the borough.

This year, no such borrowing is projected from the fund balance, which totals about $400,000, Luikart said.

“It will be interesting to see in January what the final numbers are (for the 2012 budget),” he said. “When we did the budget in 2012 there wasn't a way we could (balance) without slashing and we didn't want to do that.”

In other business, engineer Tim Brett told council that the $2.5 million sewerage system upgrade is about 55 percent completed.

Contractors have been working to raise sewer lines and interceptors that regulate overflow into the borough's system, part of a long-term flood control plan along the Youghiogheny River funded by state grant money.

About $1.4 million in construction costs have been completed from the total project, which Brett said should be finished in the spring.

Stacey Federoff is a write for Trib Total Media.

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