Budget calls for no tax increases to Greencastle taxpayers

December 05, 2002|by RICHARD BELISLE

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - The budget formally passed by the Greencastle Borough Council this week asks for no new taxes, the fifth year in a row that local taxpayers have not been asked to dig deeper.

Borough Manager Kenneth Myers said Wednesday the 2003 budget comes in at about $4.7 million, about $500,000 higher than the 2002 budget.

The council was able to hold the tax rate at 10.6 mills because of surplus funds carried over from last year and fewer expenses next year, Myers said.


Councilwoman Jean Oliver said earlier that the difference will also be made up by an increase in property evaluations due to new construction in the borough.

The 2003 budget, which Oliver called very conservative, includes a $9,500 general fund surplus, some of which will be earmarked for the capital reserve account that the council has been trying to build up.

One mill brings in nearly $31,000. A mill represents $1,000 of assessed property value. The new budget goes into effect Jan. 1.

Included in the budget is the council's annual $9,500 contribution to Rescue Hose Co. No. 1, the borough's volunteer fire department. Missing this year is $4,700 that the council gave the department last year for its worker compensation fund. The money is now supposed to come from the department's firemen's relief fund.

Councilman Harold Duffey wants the $4,700 put back into the 2003 appropriation. Myers said since the borough can't change the budget once it's been adopted, the money would have to be found elsewhere.

He said Council President Barbara Bock has invited Donald Eshelman, president of the fire company, to the council's Jan. 6 meeting to discuss the department's finances.

Several major construction projects are on the books for next year, Myers said.

The council is ready to seek bids for a storm drainage project aimed at fixing a long-term water problem in the borough's southwest section. The project is expected to cost around $900,000.

The drainage system will start at Wilhelm Street, run south through private properties on the south side of Washington Street, cross Washington Street and then pass by the Greencastle Antique Mall parking area onto Leitersburg Street to an old railroad siding. The system will then dump into the small stream that has its headwaters at the spring at the Tayamentasachta Environmental Center.

The system will pass through nine private properties. Five of those property owners have given permission to the borough for the system to move through their properties, Myers said. The borough may have to force the remaining four to provide rights of way through eminent domain, he said.

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