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Mt. Pleasant begins work on 2014 budget

| Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, 6:36 a.m.

Mt. Pleasant's 2014 preliminary budget is approximately $10,000 short in revenues to expenditures, but borough manager Jeff Landy said several numbers, including real estate tax revenues and insurances, haven't been verified.

“This is a very preliminary budget that could change 10 times before we finalize it. But it's a guide,” he said.

Councilwoman Susan Ruszkowski said there's no raises in this preliminary budget for any borough department. They've only allowed for contract raises at this point.

An extra $7,000 was added to the code enforcement officer line item, and for the first time in six years, there's no money budgeted for fireworks.

At this point, there aren't any changes from this year's budget in the street department, police department and fire department line items.

Landy said officials will continue to verify numbers on both the revenue and expenditure side of things and then update council next month.

In other business, Landy reported officials have discovered some misinformation from the borough's former insurance broker and have secured a new broker.

“The savings we preliminary thought would be in the budget will not be there,” he said.

The borough's solicitor is looking into the situation and because of possible litigation, Landy could not discuss the matter further.

To further financial woes, Landy reported that revenues from three gas wells on borough property have been very disappointing.

He said they hoped to get approximately $15,000 in revenue from the well in Frick Park, but have received just $3,344 to date.

The news isn't any better for the other two. Landy said they hoped to get between $8,000 and $10,000 for the well at the Little League field in Willows Park but received only $1,680 so far and they hoped to get $5,000 from the well on the Levin property but received just $80.71 to date.

“There were a lot of things we were planning on doing with that money, but we can't now,” he said.

The borough could be getting new, updated traffic signals on Main Street from Morewood Street to the diamond, but not until 2016 at the earliest.

Landy reported that during a recent meeting with PennDOT officials, he was told a grant had been sought on behalf of the borough for the project. Unfortunately, by the time they apply for the grant, receive the grant, schedule the project and do the engineering on the project, it couldn't become a reality until 2016.

“I was told it was likely that we're going to get the grant,” Landy said.

In other business, trick-or-treat in the borough is scheduled from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 27. The Halloween parade is scheduled for Oct. 30.

Rachel Basinger is a contributing writer.

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