Ridgway Borough Council votes for a one mil tax increase

Brian Stockman
Staff Writer

Since early November the Ridgway Borough Council has been meeting in budget workshops every few days.
At the first meeting on Nov. 7, Borough Manager Paul McCurdy raised concerns about several funds that would be running at a deficit for 2019 if some action was not taken. In addition, both the fire department as well as the police noted their need for additional funding to maintain current levels of service.
Several other capital improvements are needed for 2019, such as the completion of the Spruce Street project and a new liner for the Community Pool. In addition, there is also a need for a new garbage truck and a patrol vehicle for the police department.
In the Nov. 14 meeting, after implementing some recommendations from previous meetings, McCurdy presented fund balances and expenses for the coming year. The General Fund is still in a deficit to the tune of $ 219,637. By using funds generated from the trucking of solid waste, that amount would be decreased significantly.
Councilman MacDonald stated that he would agree to fund the code equipment reoccurring expense from the trucked waste fund, but was against any raise in taxes when he believes the borough has a significant amount of money in the bank.
Council members discussed a possible two mil increase and funding everything else from the trucked waste funds. Council agreed the two mils was too high and that a one mil increase to fund the fire and police would be more appropriate and to fund everything else out of the trucked waste fund.
Also, the landfill defense fund of $50,000 and the minor equipment upgrades of $28,000 would also be out of the waste funds. Council then decided that an increase in taxes of one mil, with .75 going to the general fund and, .25 going to the fire department.
The increase in taxes of one mil was approved by the council with only one voting "no" on the motion.
Berkheimer was then approved as the authorized representative on all taxing issues for the Borough for per capita and occupation taxes, as well as Tax Hearing Officers, Exclusive Collector, and Delinquent Tax Collector and the Borough adopted the fee structure that the company proposed.
The Community Development Block Grant agreement was signed by the Borough to continue this program to help low to moderate-income citizens with housing and community needs.
The Fire Protection agreement with Ridgway Township was approved again for 2019 as it has been for many years.

The full article can be found in Nov. 20 edition of the Ridgway Record.