Waynesboro will repay PennDOT for redesign fee

November 18, 2002|BY RICHARD BELISLE

WAYNESBORO - The Waynesboro Borough Council this week voted to repay PennDOT $60,000 the highway department paid for engineering fees for a redesign of the borough's Public Square.

The council also passed a preliminary 2003 budget calling for a 2-mill tax increase, Council President Douglas Tengler said Friday.

The vote on the PennDOT payment was 3-2. Voting in favor were Tengler, councilmen Charles "Chip" McCammon and John Cook. Councilmen Allen Porter and Ardie Winters opposed the payment.

The council's makeup changed last week with the surprise resignation of Councilwoman Vicki Jo Huff. On Nov. 6, the council voted against approving the Penn DOT payment. In that vote, Huff joined Porter and Winters in opposing the payment and Mayor Louis Barlup cast the tie-breaking vote against payment.


The council will find the $60,000 in its special reserve fund, Tengler said. The $118,000 fund was created in 2001 when the borough won a settlement in a suit against the Franklin County Housing Authority over ownership of the Mount Vernon Terrace housing complex, Tengler said.

PennDOT officials threatened to withdraw a $1.2 million grant to reconstruct the square and modernize the traffic light system that controls seven Main Street intersections from Grant Street to Welty Road, unless the council decided soon on how the square is to be configured.

In recent years the council has wavered on whether the four-way intersection should stay as it is or if the borough should eliminate 18 diagonal parking spaces and move the sidewalks closer to the street.

The 2-mill tax increase the council is seeking would net about $104,000 and set the tax rate at 16.18 mills, or $16.18 per $1,000 of assessed property value. If the proposed budget becomes final in December, the owner of a home assessed at $100,000 will see his real estate tax go up around $32 next year, Tengler said.

The council expects to spend about $59,000 more than the new budget will take in next year, Tengler said. Money to cover the shortfall will be taken from the borough's general reserve fund, currently at $317,000.

The borough expects to spend around $3 million next year, including $804,000 for the police department, $210,000 for the fire department and $345,000 on health insurance for employees, Tengler said.

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