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Franklin County Commissioners OK budget without tax increase

November 22, 2011|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — The Franklin County (Pa.) Commissioners Tuesday passed a 2012 budget that does not include a tax increase.

County Administrator John Hart led efforts to whittle down an anticipated deficit by $4 million, Commissioner Bob Ziobrowski said.

A remaining deficit of $2.1 million will be covered by a budget surplus from this year, he said.

The budget, which totals $122 million for all operations and services, includes 3 percent pay increases for county employees. Spending from the general fund for operations is expected to be $42.8 million.

The budget includes funding for farmland preservation, continued expansion of a geographical information system and the final updates to the county’s comprehensive plan. County-operated Falling Spring Nursing & Rehabilitation Center is expected to undergo boiler and electrical upgrades.

About $1.8 million is budgeted for a project to renovate and expand the courthouse campus.

“That was set aside in this year’s budget, but ... we didn’t spend that. It’ll carry over into next year’s budget,” said David Keller, chairman of the commissioners.

The courthouse project was delayed because of changes to its scope.

Ziobrowski said $1.3 million will be set aside in a fund that will be used when replacing items like security equipment, vehicles, and computer hardware and software. Another $1 million will be set aside for future facilities projects.

“We’ve begun to plan for the future,” Commissioner Bob Thomas said.

Thomas said he has concerns about future state and federal funding cuts.

“It’s obvious we’re not in this thing alone,” he said.

According to a document provided by county officials on how each tax dollar is spent (numbers are rounded):

  • 73 cents goes to crime, courts and corrections.
  • 6 cents to public safety
  • 4 cents each for human services and financial services
  • 3 cents for customer service
  • 2 cents for administration
  • 1 cent for community and economic development
  • 7 cents for “other”

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