SHICKSHINNY – Borough council on Wednesday voted 4-1 to award Pickarski Inc. of Gouldsboro the construction contract for the development of Crary Park, a proposed recreation area off South Canal Street.
Pickarski's bid of $256,625 came in well under the $317,811 that the borough has in state funding for the project. Mayor Beverly Moore proposed that the portion of the funding not utilized for construction be used to buy playground equipment.
Funding for the project will come from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources ($156,000) and the state Fish and Boat Commission ($161.811).
In all, 10 firms submitted proposals.
Of the five council members in attendance, Mike Steeber voted no, explaining that the park will create an unfair burden on the taxpayers of the community, who, in the future, will have to pay for its maintenance.
Voting yes were Chairperson Rosalie Whitebread and councilmen Jim Wido, Kevin Morris and Barry Noss.
There was discussion that some of the $156,000 in DCNR funding has already been spent, which could make a borough liable to make a repayment to the state if the project didn't proceed as planned.
It would be money we don't have, Whitebread said, before calling for a roll call vote on a motion made by Morris to accept Pickarski's bid.
There was also comment that the borough and contractor would have to break ground by Dec. 7 to sustain the funding.
In the only other item to come before council, Secretary/Treasurer Melissa Weber presented a preliminary 2013 budget that outlines $276,389 in expenditures and $229,563 in revenue.
Weber's proposal would keep property taxes at .9175 mills for the general fund and .2154 mills for street lighting. A mill is $1 in taxes for every $1,000 in assessed valuation.
Other major revenues are derived from an earned income tax, local services tax, per capita tax and real estate transfer tax.
The borough also benefits from a monetary fund created by the late Forrest Garrison that Weber anticipates will yield $69,928 in 2013.
On the topic of the earned income levy, Weber said the borough has an estimated $50,000 outstanding this year from the bankrupt Centax/Don Wilkinson Agency.
There was some discussion about the need to increase taxes, but comment was deferred to a work session scheduled later this week and to further deliberations by the finance committee.