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GREENVILLE, PA. Mayor expects budget to be redone



Published: Wed, January 2, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



It will be up to the borough's new manager to straighten out budgetary problems.

GREENVILLE, Pa. -- Borough council has approved a $3.7 million budget for 2002 but Mayor Clifford Harriger said the spending plan will have to be reopened.

Council reorganizes on Monday and Harriger said he expects new members of council to ask that the budget be reopened.

The final version adopted Monday shows a 1.27-mill property tax increase, which would generate about $48,000, but Harriger said it falls far short of what the borough actually needs.

The tax increase would cost the average residential taxpayer about $19 a year.

The budget showed a 14.5 percent spending increase when it was presented to council but, because Mercer County changed its property tax assessment ratio from 33 percent to 100 percent of assessed value this year, the borough was legally limited to no more than a 5 percent increase in taxes, Harriger said.

To offset the revenue shortfall, council made some "temporary" reductions in spending in the fire department and froze all wages to balance the budget, he said.

The borough may wind up going to common pleas court to ask for permission to exceed the 5 percent tax increase limit to restore adequate funding in the budget, Harriger said.

Who's taking over: The task of straightening out the budget will fall to the borough's new manager, Kenneth Weaver, 48, of Johnson City, Tenn., who was officially hired by council earlier this week.

Weaver will be paid $45,000 a year, about $3,000 less than was paid to Peter Nicoloff, who resigned in October.

Weaver starts his duties tomorrow but, because his wife and son are still in Tennessee, council has agreed to allow Weaver to leave work at noon every Friday so he can return to Johnson City and then return to Greenville every Sunday night until the end of the current school year.

His family will then move to Greenville, Harriger said.




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