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Chambersburg borough budget approved

December 20, 2001

Chambersburg borough budget approved



By STACEY DANZUSO / chbbureau@innernet.net

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The Chambersburg Borough Council approved the 2002 budget Wednesday, knowing it will likely be reopened in January when three new council members take office.

The budget leaves the tax rate at 12.2 mills. One mill equals $1 of tax for each $1,000 of assessed real estate value. With the approved budget, Chambersburg taxpayers will not see a change in their tax rate for the 13th year in a row.

The net borough budget is $40.3 million for 2002, and it includes a 3.5 percent pay increase for all employees except for firefighters, who are currently in an arbitration process with the borough, Borough Manager Eric Oyer said.

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The proposed budget also allows for continuing projects like the Chambersburg Rail Trail, Chambers Fort Park and water system improvements. An ambitious roads project allocates $2.43 million over the next five years to make significant improvement to the streets and alleys of the borough.

The funding comes primarily from the Liquid Fuels funds from the state, self-insurance and proceeds from the pending sale of Chambersburg Municipal Airport.

For 2002, the street projects include the reconstruction of East Washington Street from Second to Third streets, Delaware Court and Rutherford Court; the overlay of Progress Road, Eisenhower Drive, Broad Street, North Seventh Street, South Fourth Street and South Sixth Street; and replacing the deck on the Grant Street bridge.

The only contested budget item during budget discussions this fall was $220,000 for three shift supervisors and one code enforcement officer in the fire department.

Some council members have questioned whether the positions should be created before a strategic plan for the department is completed in 2002.

Ultimately, the council members left the money in the budget but did not give the department authorization to go ahead with hiring it sees the results of the arbitration award and the impact on the budget.

The only major change in the budget since the council gave its preliminary approval last month is an increase in sewer rates.

Council voted to spread out a proposed 20 percent increase over the next two or three years, starting with a 10 percent increase in 2002. That means the average residential sewer customer will pay $1.30 more a month next year, Oyer said.

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