Scottdale to eye budget trims this week
Faced with a revenue deficit, Scottdale Borough Council will meet this week to pare expenditures in the 2003 budget and try to avoid a property tax increase.
At Monday's meeting, council did not discuss the preliminary budget, adopted on Nov. 25, but learned from borough Manager Barry Whoric that the quote for the borough's insurance package was $16,000 to $20,000 less than budgeted in the preliminary spending plan.
Council accepted the $57,944 quote for an insurance package from DeFuri Mongell & Associates of Scottdale. Whoric said this year's insurance premium reflects almost a 15 percent increase from last year's package. However, Whoric is pleased with the quote in light of the fact that many municipalities saw 45 to 50 percent increases in costs or coverage was not renewed.
The preliminary budget estimates expenditures of $1.2 million and revenues of $1.05 million. Whoric said one unknown factor in the budget is the premium for workers' compensation. To reduce the $150,000 deficit in revenue, Whoric said council would have to look at capital projects and next year's paving projects. The borough did not have a paving project this year, and it is important to do the paving in 2003, he said.
A tax increase is council's decision, Whoric said. Last year, taxes increased by 1 mill to 17 mills; 1 mill generates $27,500 in revenue, he said.
In addition to Wednesday's budgeting session, Whoric anticipates another budget session will be held next week before the final adoption required by Dec. 31.
In other matters, council approved the proposal from Scottdale Bank & Trust for a $150,000 tax and revenue anticipation note at a fixed interest rate of 1.9 percent, or $2,865 in interest. Whoric said $4,000 had been budgeted for interest fees.