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Borough keeps property tax at 10 mills

| Thursday, May 10, 2012, 11:30 p.m.

Correction: Tricia Johnston is program director of the Friends of the Library in Delmont. Her name was misspelled. (11/19/2003 midnight)

Delmont Borough Council's proposed 2004 budget keeps the property tax at 10 mills, the rate for the past five or six years.

The budget, presented at Tuesday's meeting, includes $670,000 in income and expenses, an increase from last year's budget of $650,000.

Major expenses include $245,283 in protection to people and property, $105,583 for the maintenance department, and $104,948 in administrative costs.

Real estate taxes are expected to bring in $237,000, while $268,000 is anticipated from other taxes. The borough also will receive $14,000 from police fines and $20,000 from cable franchise fees.

Tricia Johnston, program director of the Friends of the Library, asked council about use of the lower level of the municipal building on Dec. 4. That space is being renovated for the new library, and because of safety concerns, children are not permitted there until the stage and a ramp are protected with railings.

At the "Wish List" event next month, parents will be in the room selecting books, while children have to meet Santa Claus in the hall. "We won't feel comfortable until the railing is on the stage," council President Beth Kepple said. The issue was further compounded because Johnson did not approach council before planning the December program.

Kepple advised her to notify them of future plans. Councilwoman Cher Anderson added, "The downstairs belongs to the borough."

When Johnson's comments became critical of council's relationship with the library, Kepple said, "Maybe you're not aware of how supportive council is. We give them cash and free space, and we're giving them the new space for free."

Bob and Sally Burton of the Delmont Apple 'N Arts Festival said the committee withheld $1,500 from the recent payment for use of Shield's Farm, which the borough owns, in October because one day of the festival was rained out last year.

Kepple and Anderson said that they didn't know about the cancellation in 2002.

Kepple suggested that the committee arrange to meet with council. "This has to be settled by the end of the year," she said.

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