Budget approval expected

December 12, 2000

Budget approval expected

By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Chambersburg Borough Council is expected to approve next year's budget, which does not include a change in the tax rate, at its meeting tonight.

"I don't anticipate there will be any discussion on the budget and (the council) already authorized the tax rate," Borough Manager Eric Oyer said Tuesday.

The council has discussed the budget at numerous meetings since October and struck down a proposal for a slight increase in the tax rate.

Oyer suggested a 0.3 mill real estate tax increase in October that would raise $42,000, but since then, he and the council have juggled funds to avoid the first tax increase in 12 years.


A mill equals $1 of tax for each $1,000 of assessed real estate value.

The council eliminated a proposed position for a fire marshal and unanimously voted last month to establish a new policy that would drop the general fund cash balance from 15 percent of the year's total appropriations to the 10 to 15 percent range.

Those measures eliminated the need for the tax increase to bolster the fund.

Both the fire marshal's position and the general fund policy sparked debates at council meetings since the budget was presented.

Council members suggested the timing was not appropriate to add a fire marshal because it planned an in-depth study of the entire department in 2001.

The council also agreed it no longer needed the 15 percent budget reserve, pointing out many counties operate with only a 5 percent reserve and suggesting that borough insurance is there to cover most unexpected costs.

Also at tonight's meeting, the council will consider sealed bids it has received for the purchase and development of a borough-owned tract of land downtown that would become part of the Village on Falling Spring commercial development.

The guidelines for the bids were set earlier this fall and are strictly worded to spark the kind of commercial development proponents of the plan want to see, Oyer said.

The council also will consider authorizing officials to execute an agreement on the engineering and design of the Rails to Trails project in downtown Chambersburg.

The final train ran through the downtown last month, and removal of the tracks will begin this spring.

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