Curwensville Borough passes tentative budget|
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
By Wendy Lynn Brion Staff Writer
CURWENSVILLE - A tentative budget was reviewed and passed by the Curwensville Borough Council last night and will be on display for 10 days, beginning at noon today, before final acceptance at a special council meeting Dec. 27 at 6 p.m.
Some items of the budget were reviewed and changed prior to passage. The first was to furlough the crossing guard and inform the Curwensville Area School District if they want to continue to have a crossing guard at the intersection of Hill Street and Susquehanna Avenue, then the district will be responsible for the hiring, although the borough will help pay for his or her salary.
Council Member Mary Ellen Read also suggested that the borough include a line item in the budget for donations to various non-profit groups. After some discussion the council voted to include a line item of $2,000 for donations. The vote was 4-1 with Read, Don O'Dell, Julie Girardi and Don Hoover voting yes and Mark Curulla voting no. Mike Komonczi was absent from the meeting.
O'Dell suggested adding $1,000 to the parks and recreation line item for routine maintenance. Council is also waiting on a cost estimate to repair Schofield Street.
The tentative budget as of last night shows an income of $1,580,592 and expenditures of $1,226,163. The expenditure part will change slightly once the new numbers agreed on last night are added in and final numbers will be announced at the Dec. 27 meeting. There is no tax increase.
The highway fund budget income is $110,000 and expenditures are $100,000.
Read reported on the activities of the Curwensville Revitalization Team and noted that Rick "Whitey" Swatsworth has been doing a lot of legwork to get work crews lined up to work on the park next spring. He has talked with Quehanna Boot Camp and also the department of probation.
Read also made a motion to allow the secretaries to do some letter writing and write some e-mails for the CRT during work hours. She noted that the team is doing their work for the borough and much of what they do is brought back to the council for approval. Curulla said since the CRT is a separate entity from the borough they will need to check with the solicitor to make sure that is OK. O'Dell remarked that they can make the vote with the provision that the matter will be reviewed by the solicitor.
Read noted that the team is benefiting the community and the community is watching the council to see if the support is there or not. After some discussion the council voted to allow the secretaries to do the occasional work for the team provided Solicitor Kim Kesner said there wasn't a problem.
Later in the meeting Curulla asked to return to the discussion on committees and said according to information in the borough code book citizens cannot be appointed to borough committees. Read said she disagreed with the interpretation, that citizens can volunteer.
Under her report, Mayor Holly Komonczi said that the new part time officer is waiting on drug tests and a few other items before starting work. She noted the borough is up 92 calls from last year at this time. Also, the new truck should be ready in about two weeks.
Council discussed parking of the police vehicles. Council would prefer the officers park in the garage both to protect the vehicles and also to keep residents from knowing when officers are on patrol. The officers prefer parking at the borough building and the union has backed the officers. Hoover noted Goodman's Foodliner received a nice letter from officer Mark Kelly, who was soliciting donations from area businesses to purchase Tasers.
In other business:
• council approved calling for quotes on laundry service for the street department clothing. Curulla said the clothes have been coming back wet and the workers have to take them home to dry them. Also under streets, council approved purchasing two back tires for the backhoe from McCracken Tire at $1,307.76, which includes installation.
• council approved donating $500 to the Rotary Club for lighting with Read voting no.
• council received a letter from Teamsters Local No. 205 noting that the employee insurance costs will go up 9.5 percent. Holly Komonczi suggested calling around for additional quotes. Curulla said the committee checked and at the time the Teamsters were the cheapest, but O'Dell added they can still check.
• Read suggested setting regular dates for committees to meet in order to allow regular council meetings to operate more smoothly. After some discussion council agreed to revisit the matter in January and possibly have work session meetings for committee matters as other boroughs do.
• council approved renewing membership with the Moshannon Valley Council of Governments for 2013. Read, who has been attending the meetings, noted they are working on joint enforcement for blighted properties in the COG. She also noted that they are getting better reimbursements for Uniform Construction Code inspections and there are other benefits to being part of the COG, including taking part in various grants.
The next monthly meeting of the Curwensville Borough Council will be Jan. 14 at 7 p.m.