Slatington Council reopens 2018 budget
Slatington Borough council voted Monday night to take another pass at the 2018 budget. KELLEY ANDRADE/TIMES NEWS
Slatington Borough council voted Monday night to take another pass at the 2018 budget.
During its monthly meeting the board approved the motion to reopen the budget that had been adopted during the December meeting by former members.
According to newly appointed borough solicitor Edward Healy, council has until Feb. 15 to officially adopt a new financial plan.
“We want to look at where the money is being allocated,” said board President Daniel Stevens.
“There were changes in expense percentages in the departments,” he said.
According to Stevens, the numbers are vastly different from the traditional tally.
“They were changed from 25 percent going to the general fund, 30 percent to water, 37 to sewer and 8 percent to garbage. The percentages are broken down by how much time is spent on each department in the borough office,” he said.
Both councilmen, Stevens and President Pro Tem Bryon Reed, agreed the former percentages had been used for close to two decades.
Where the money is
The 2018 budget proposed a “drastic shift” in two departments according to Stevens.
“The expense percentage for garbage is set at 31 while general is set at 7 percent,” he said.
“There was extra money in garbage and the quick way to budget that was to take the money out of garbage and put it in other departments,” he said.
The borough signed a new garbage contract last year that was set to save the residents money, Stevens said.
“Last year the fee was supposed to go from $66 to $40, there was a robocall sent out but it never happened.
“The money didn’t go back to the residents. All that money was used to balance the budget,” he said.
“In the future it could really hurt the residents. We need more realistic percentages,” he said.
The breakdown of expenses amount to the time office staff spends on each area from creating invoices to handling daily calls.
“The general fund covers a lot of things and uses up a lot of time,” he said.
“It doesn’t seem realistic. The garbage and general are out of whack.”
Stevens said council will also look at spending across the borough.
“The other thing is seriously reducing costs in certain areas. You cut expense where you can. We want to be efficient with the money,” he said.
During the evening meeting the board was unable to approve paying the bills during from December as the new members have yet to see the invoices.
The board will hold a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 22 to iron out funding issues.
The board voted to adopt the borough fees for residents including an increase from $45 to $60 for an occupancy permit and implemented a $10 potbellied pig fee.