NUANGOLA — Council on Monday night adopted a $199,875 balanced budget for 2014 that keeps tax rates at .0444 mills on real estate and imposes a one percent tax on earned income.
A mill is $1 in tax for every $1,000 in assessed property valuation.
The vote to enact the budget was unanimous among the six members in attendance at Monday night’s meeting.
The spending plan, prepared by the finance committee led by Councilman Michael Johnson, represents a reduction from a preliminary plan of $205 ,510 presented on Nov. 12. Johnson said adjustments in projected spending resulted in accompanying cuts.
But out-going Councilman Ted Vancosky warned council that loan payments of more than $150,000 for the newly installed sewer system will be coming due in the autumn of 2014. Since the loans were guaranteed by council, Vancosky cautioned that the borough could be facing a large expense that may not have been accounted for in the budget.
Council President John Kochan, however, estimated that revenue from sewer system connection fees ($2,029) and system rental fees ($57 per month) should be more than sufficient to cover these costs.
“It’s a situation we’ll stay on top of,” Kochan said, “but not one we’ll worry about at this point.”
Council also acted to award a three-year refuse/garbage hauling contract to Gittens Disposal Service of Mountain Top. The vote was 5-0, with one abstention, to accept Gittens’ bid of $148,320. Councilwoman Regina Plodwick abstained because she contended bidding notices were not advertised three time as required by borough code.
Solicitor Jack Dean pointed out, however, that the process was legal, and pending his review, Gittens is the low bidder. Proposals were also received from J.P. Mascaro Inc. and Waste Management Inc.
After the vote was completed, Plodwick proposed the yearly garbage fee be reduced from $155 annually to $100. Her motion failed to gain a second.
In other matters, a special reorganization session was scheduled at 7 p.m. Jan. 6; regular public meetings will continue to be held at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month.
Council was told by a representative of DGK Insurance that premiums for workers’ compensation insurance will increase to $5,786.
Councilman Joe Tucker’s reported that a large pothole which developed on Willow Grove Street required an emergency fix. Tucker said he thought the pothole is the result of directional drilling done by contractors during the sewer project and he asked Ray Shirk, sewer authority chairman, to request that the Wexcon Co. provide some stone fill to help fix it.