Catasauqua Press

Monday, January 21, 2019

Catty council OKs 2018 budget

Wednesday, January 3, 2018 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Borough’s $5.5 million plan has millage rate increase

Catasauqua Borough Council passed a $5.5 million budget for 2018 at its last session for the year held Dec. 20, 2017.

The new budget allocates expected revenues into categories.

Starting with the first category, general government, the total allocation for the department approaches $500,000. This cost includes the borough staff, costs to collect taxes and legal expense as well as contributions to the library, George Taylor House and community organizations. Embedded in the cost is $101,700 for building and facilities, which may include the new municipal building, although the figures were not broken out separately.

The police department costs $1.2 million, and the fire department costs $232,325. Trash collection is included in public safety, and it is expected to cost a little over $700,000. Revenues are expected to be $735,000.

Planning and zoning are another $161,000. The cost includes code enforcement, the planning and zoning board and community development. Community development is budgeted for almost $61,000.

Streets and their repairs are budgeted at almost $900,000. Half of the amount goes to street maintenance, street construction and storm sewers. Street lighting and personnel are the other half of the budget.

Recreation is budgeted for $638,360. The playground has $406,365, and Shade Tree Commission has $7,440 to spend. The pool budget is $224,555 with expected pool revenues at $95,000.

The nondepartmental expenses category includes debt and interest along with banking fees. Employee benefits are lumped together. Normally, benefits are prorated to various departments to get a truer picture of the cost to run the department. Benefits are a significant part of the overhead required. Employee benefits are budgeted at $252,660. The total in the nondepartmental expenses is $844,110. Principal and interest payments chew up $560,000.

The water plant is budgeted to receive $650,900, and there is a carry-over from last year of $326,205. Costs to run the plant are budgeted at $876,925

For the sewer plant, revenues are expected to be $1,344,395. There is a carry-over from the prior year of $675,185. The cost to run the plant is $1,377,555.

Wastewater collection takes estimated revenues of $883,895, while the cost to run the system is $1,097,750. There are carry-over revenues of $284,200 from 2017.

The budget increases the mill rate from 6.08 to 6.10 per assessed value.

There is a senior discount of $25 for garbage, but the process includes age and income restrictions.

Water and sewer rates are increased by 3 percent. A residential system will cost $24.75 per quarter in 2018, with additional charges at $4.38 per thousand gallons. The base amount jumps to $25.50 in 2019. The rate is for 5,000 gallons. Additional charges in 2019 are $4.52 per thousand gallons. Commercial rates are also increased by the average 3 percent.