Philipsburg Borough increases donation to PRC|
Friday, June 29, 2012
By Tyler Kolesar Staff Writer
PHILIPSBURG - The Philipsburg Borough Council held a brief special meeting to discuss upping their annual donation amount to the Philipsburg Revitalization Corporation. President Fred Grauch said in order for the PRC to obtain a Keystone Designation, the borough would have to do an annual in-kind donation. Grauch said he would like to keep their cash donation to the PRC at the $4,000 they have previously budgeted for the next five years, but also add $6,000 of in-kind services to them for the next five years.
Grauch said this would be a "win-win" for both entities, as the borough would also be eligible for certain grants it previously couldn't obtain.
Council members Barb Gette and Walt Chorle were extremely vocal about their disapproval of allowing this to happen. Gette said she'd like to see more documentation regarding the specifics, stating five years is a long commitment to the PRC.
"It has to start somewhere, Barb," said Grauch, referring to their commitment.
Grauch also said all three Centre County Commissioners signed off on the proposition.
"Doesn't mean anything to me," said Gette.
Chorle said the borough spent more money than what they brought in last year, and worries giving out donations like the PRC will eventually have to stop. Grauch said technically Chorle is correct about the borough spending.
However, they're still awaiting a $100,000 reimbursement from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority on the Cold Stream Dam project. Grauch said once that money comes in, which they have been waiting on for months, then the borough would be operating in the good.
Chorle still said the fact remains the borough has currently spent more than it has brought in, stating that is a "budget problem."
"That's your opinion," said Grauch.
Chorle then asked if the borough needed more revenue in future years, Grauch would suggest raising taxes. Grauch said no tax increase is needed in the future, to which Chorle said he would hold Grauch to that statement.
Council member Mike Wilks agreed with giving the donation. Wilks said if the borough stopped donating to entities such as the PRC, the YMCA, and Holt Memorial Library, the borough would only be hurting themselves by not providing the support needed for success.
A motion was then made to allow the $6,000 of in-kind services, bringing the total yearly donation to $10,000 for the next five years. The in-kind services would include heated office space, staff support and office equipment that would be defined in a working agreement between the borough and PRC. The vote passed to allow the in-kind services by a vote of 3-2. Voting in favor were Grauch, Wilks and Sam Womer. Voting against were Chorle and Gette. Council members Harry Wood and Dave Dixon were absent.
Grauch said they've been having inflow and infiltration problems with The Philips Hotel. Grauch said they previously fined the owners and have gone to court, but the owners have no intentions of fixing the problem. Grauch asked permission from council to have himself and Borough Manager Jan McDonald meet with the owners about the situation. Council agreed, with Gette saying she would also like to sit in on the meeting.
The next regular meeting will be held on July 16 at 7 p.m. at the borough building.