Lansford council has begun crafting a 2011 spending plan. Council members met on Wednesday with borough secretary/treasurer Renee Slakoper to review this year's expenditures and revenue, line by line, to determine how much they will need to budget next year.

It's a job that calls for a crystal ball.

Officials are starting the budget process with smaller accounts, such as the demolition fund. That account is funded by building inspections, and the building inspector is paid from the account. It began this year with $5,600. Minus the inspector's payments, the account now sits at $2,250.

Council members also discussed the sanitation fund. The borough anticipated $310,000 in collections by the end of this year. Vice-president Mary Kruczek said that so far, $277,000 has been collected. Council members Danielle Smith, Adam Webber and Lenny Kovach also attended the budget session.

This year, borough property owners saw their tax increase by 4.30 mills - mostly due to sharp hikes in health care and police pension benefit costs. That meant the tax rate came to to 29.41 mills to fuel a $1,581,701 spending plan. The tax hike meant the owner of a home with a taxable value of $25,000 paid $735.25 in property tax this year. That's up from $627.75 in 2009.

The 2010 levy broke down to: General Fund: 23.38 mills; Debt Service: 1 mill; Street Lights: 2.25 mills; Fire Protection: 1.20 mills; Recreation: 0.95 mill; Pension: 0.50 mill and Library: 0.13 mill.

It likely will be several weeks before residents find out how those figures will change for 2011.