This meeting has been advertised in accordance with the code for adoption of the 2023 budget.
The finance committee met and made some changes to what was proposed as well as some other adjustments to raise building permit fees, trash fees, as well as some other revenue. The committee also made some cuts to expenditures, but unfortunately there will need to be a tax increase in the general fund as well as the sinking fund as the cost of everything is going up. This year staff costs have not gone up as much as inflation. The costs to operate our vehicles, maintain our vehicles, collect trash, cost of electricity, postage increases, supply increases have all impacted the operation of the Borough and is reflected in this budget.
PRESENT – President Bollendorf, Vice President Stockton, Councilwoman McMenamin, Councilwoman Ostrander, Councilman Myers, Councilwoman Reichner, Mayor Schultz, Manager Hegele, Assistant Secretary DeRenzis, Chief Gardner, Deputy Chief Ruegg, Fire Marshal Dermer, Treasurer Smith, and Fire Company President Ide were present.
CALL TO ORDER – President Bollendorf called to order the November 7, 2022, budget Workshop Meeting to order at 6:00 P.M.
President Bollendorf stated that the proposed 2023 budget is a living document which means it can change. He explained even though there is an expense noted, it does not mean it will get spent and there are line items that are fixed which means Council has no control over it such as wages, benefits, FIKA taxes, and trash bills. He also stated there are certain things that won’t been listed such as grant matches and vehicle purchases as they are in the Capital budget and that is what is used (Capital) when there is money left over.
Council reviewed the proposed budget:
- Total 2023 sinking expenditures is $ 655,836.00 with total income in the amount of $ 394,280.00.
- This is used to pay all the debt services for the Borough and cannot be changed.
- Debt increased in 2023 due to new trash truck purchase and bond refinance.
- Millage will need to be raised.
- Preliminary 2023 projected expenditures is $ 201,731.00 with total income in the amount of $223,649.00.
- Referendum gives them a 0.55 millage rate.
- Once they submit their expenditures, it is reviewed, and the money is transferred.
- Numbers will adjust a little as the assessment changes through this process. President Bollendorf explained a millage rate is a measure commonly used to determine property taxes and the County assesses what the entire Borough is worth, and the millage is a percentage of that. Assistant Secretary Derenzis stated we should have an updated assessment the beginning of December. President Bollendorf stated it only goes up a little and as new developments come into the Borough, it will increase.
ENTERPRISE FIRE COMPANY
- Preliminary 2023 expenditures are $ 407,265.00 with total income in the amount of $ 377,151.00.
- One large Capital Plan item which is they need to replace their Air Packs within the next month or two.
- No plans for a new truck purchase in the near future.
- Adjustments need to be made due to deficit.
HATBORO MEMORIAL POOL
- Projected 2023 expenditures is $ 191,849.00 with total income in the amount of $ 191,849.
- The pool is an asset to the Borough and is self-sufficient and pays for itself.
- Awaiting a 3rd assessment to determine if a new slide and this will be kept on the radar as a future purchase if it is determined a new one is not needed for 2023.
- Non-Resident day passes and memberships was raised $10.00.
- No change for Resident fees for 2023.
- Vice President Stockton explained a lot is out of the Boroughs control because it is set by contract.
- Council and Mayor wages are set by code.
- FICA expense is set by code.
- Departmental supplies were able to be adjusted and went down. The Borough is trying to save money on advertising-by-advertising multiple meetings with one posting.
- Savings on travel as staff can do online training remotely.
- Wages are set and try to keep OT numbers as low as possible.
- Pensions, medical insurance, and FIKA are also all set by contract with the providers.
- Travel and education have been increased slightly for the Borough Manager but still try to utilize online courses as much as possible.
- Solicitor fees are difficult to predict because we do not know what specific things we may need.
- Engineering costs are also difficult to predict but as we wrap up some large projects, (Borough Hall and Pennypack) the number should decrease. Costs are going up 15-20% so that will need to be factored in.
- Hopefully will see some savings with the new HVAC at Loller Academy.
- Most line items are set by contract.
- Certain events are billed for HPD OT.
- Chief Gardner stated $ 4,000.00 is the entire K-9 budget which covers training and insurance. Elm Street funds a lot of the K-9 supplies.
- Monies placed aside for Police in the drop due to the fact it is a known expense so when there is additional revenue, they try to set it aside.
- Wages are set.
- Fire Marshal and Code Enforcement brings in revenue.
- Large purchases that were requested were moved to Gen Cap.
- Will increase building permit fees as services are increasing by about 17%.
- Revisit 415.110 to see if continuing to pay Emergency Management stipend.
- Recycling expenses are extremely high and are increasing therefore rates for refuse fees will have to be raised for commercial and rental properties.
- Mayor Schultz suggested offering a composting service and Vice President Stockton said it’s a great idea and we can look into next year. Councilman Myers stated we can educate residents regarding zero waste in the meantime.
- Transitioning out of selling leaf bags as they cost us more than the $0.50 per bag that we sell them for. Borough will sell what is left for $0.75 per bag or 50 for $30.00 so Borough can break even on the remaining sales.
- Wages are set by contract. (Part Time and Full Time) Hard to predict OT numbers exactly as some things are unpredictable for example, snow. Lower wage for seasonal employees to $ 11,000.00. $11,000.00.
- Will have a presentation at Council Meeting.
- Arrangement is the Borough provides a building and maintain it for them which helps offset costs for residents.
- The Borough acquired the property at no cost but there is maintenance and repairs. Lighting was added on the property for safety.
- Departmental supplies raised due to several projects.
- Construction of message boards in house.
- Little League is requesting $ 15,500.00 for next year for some proposed projects. Vice President would like to keep at $11,200 which was an increase last year.
- Newly acquired so line items are new expenses such as cleaning supplies.
- Speed was increased for internet and another Wi-Fi router that was needed is included.
- Would like to keep at discussed 5% tax increase = an average of $100.00 per household.
- Pending new projects once completed will increase Borough’s assessment for example the new Wawa construction.
- Received EIT projection today. o Max for BPT is $632.50 (ours is capped) which was set years ago and unfortunately cannot be changed as it is a Harrisburg law but will still look into. Borough will be collecting BPT beginning next year, and we have been using E Collect to collect any unpaid BPT.
- Will pull the comparison for solicitation numbers and the parade solicitation number has gone down but the Chief stated if you make number too high, they will not come. o Look at raising annual sign costs as currently it is $15.00 per sign for businesses.
- RSF – 33% for DVT lines – will continue to roll over.
- Can’t make money off permits but can increase in order to recoup the cost of staff time etcetera.
- Increased U&O Revenue line item to $ 160,000.00. Raised rental fees last year so cannot again this year.
- Adding parking to the App in which commuters will be able to pay through the App. Lots are starting to fill again as commuters slowly transition from working remotely to in person due to COVID. As more people go back to work, number will raise without raising the fee itself.
- Raised Annual Commercial Fire Inspection revenue from $ 60,000.00 to $ 65,000.00.
- Still waiting to recoup costs from Fire House Grant – waiting for check.
- Proposed to transfer approximately $ 83,000.00 from Gen Cap for grant costs.
- Escrow could go higher depending on what we bill, staff will take a look and will adjust.
Manager Hegele reviewed the advertising and budget adoption schedule which is as follows:
- Notice of Preliminary adoption 11/18
- Preliminary adoption 11/28
- Notice of 10-day inspection period begins 11/29
- Notice of final adoption and tax rate millage ordinance prepared for 12/9
- Final adoption 12/19
ADJOURNMENT – President Bollendorf adjourned the November 7, 2022, Budget Workshop Meeting at 8:03 P.M.
Respectfully Submitted by:
Diane C. Hegele, Borough Manager
Transcribed by Cindy Bollendorf