SHARPSVILLE Council plans cuts to offset budget

Residents probably will see their water rates climb by 15 percent next year.
SHARPSVILLE, Pa. -- Borough council may cut back on street paving and trim capital improvement allocations to balance its 2002 budget without a tax increase.
Residents, however, could face an increase in their water rates to keep the water department budget in the black.
Council introduced both its $1,056,881 general fund and $619,175 water department budgets Wednesday.
Borough Manager Michael Wilson said the new general fund budget is just $14,000 higher than this year. The spending plan still shows a $125,000 deficit, however.
The preliminary budget shows a $70,000 transfer from the street paving program and a $55,000 transfer from the capital improvement line item to offset that red ink, he said.
That would avoid the necessity of a tax increase, he said. Property taxes would remain at 42 mills. There was no tax increase nor any increase in fees in the current budget.
Water budget: Wilson said the water department is looking at a revenue shortfall of $25,000 to $30,000.
To offset that, council is proposing a 15 percent increase in the water rates, which would generate about $60,000 a year in new revenue, he said.
Some of that money is needed for general operations, but about $25,000 would go into waterline replacement, a priority for the borough, which runs its own water system, he said.
The average residential consumer would see his or her monthly rate rise from about $17 to $19.60, shows a chart prepared by Wilson.
Council will continue to review and refine the spending plans before final adoption in December, he said.

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