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Shelter gets additional $6,000

December 08, 2008|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Chambersburg Borough will give the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter an additional $6,000 in 2009, matching the increase given to the shelter in 2008, according to changes in the final budget approved Monday night.

The council unanimously approved the final budget with an amendment that $6,000 more be allocated from the police budget to the shelter. It also approved the 2009 tax rate ordinance that keeps the mill rate of 20 mills that property owners have paid since 2006.

Councilwoman Mary Beth Shank questioned why in the 2009 preliminary budget the borough lowered funding for the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter from $18,000 to $12,000.

The shelter houses animals rescued across Franklin County and assists the borough with animal law enforcement by sheltering animals procured by borough police.

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Citing a letter from shelter board president Nancy Gardner, Shank said she felt the shelter gave adequate reasoning for sustaining the $18,000 it received in 2008 from the police budget.

"I want to make sure we compensate the shelter fairly for the great service (it) provides to the borough," she said.

Borough Manager Eric Oyer said the borough increased its funding to Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter to assist its transition to a new facility with the understanding that in 2009, the line item would revert back to $12,000.

So far in 2008, 292 stray animals from the borough have been housed at the shelter, while shelter representatives have assisted police on 23 calls, Shank said.

Oyer said Gardner estimated in her Nov. 17 letter that the shelter would require about $16,000 to operate at the same level in 2009 as it did in the current year, so she requested the council continue to fund it at $18,000.

The borough funds the shelter through the "dog law" line item in the police budget, Oyer said. He explained that the additional $6,000 would come from unallocated funds in the police budget.

The final budget approved Monday did not include any other major changes from the preliminary budget approved in October, Council President William McLaughlin said.

The $11.6 million general fund is slightly less than the current year, Oyer said previously, and it does not include funding for any additional police officer or fire fighters.

The borough's total budget is $69.1 million. Balancing the budget required transferring more than $800,000 in cash reserves, leaving the borough with a project cash balance of $1.5 million by the end of 2009.

While residents will not see real estate taxes, water, sewer or sanitation fees increase in 2009, natural gas rates will increase 7.5 percent and electric rates will rise about 15 percent. The borough owns all four of its major utilities.

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