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No tax hike or police force cuts in proposed Middletown budget

Posted 12/4/13

Middletown Borough Council voted 8-0 on Tuesday, Dec. 3 to advertise a $5.7 million general fund budget that freezes property taxes and avoids any major cuts, according to financial consultant Mark Morgan.

Specifically, the budget does not …

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No tax hike or police force cuts in proposed Middletown budget

Posted

Middletown Borough Council voted 8-0 on Tuesday, Dec. 3 to advertise a $5.7 million general fund budget that freezes property taxes and avoids any major cuts, according to financial consultant Mark Morgan.

Specifically, the budget does not recommend cutting the borough’s police force by two officers, something that was anticipated in the 2013 budget but was never implemented.

“The general premise of this budget is that we try to make as few changes from what was occurring this year as possible,” Morgan said, so that four newly-elected council members and a newly-elected mayor can have input on making decisions after they take office in January.

The new council members will have tough decisions to make, Morgan said, because there’s a catch: The budget requires a $2.092 million transfer from the borough’s electric fund to its general fund. Since council has reduced electric rates, the borough may then have to transfer money from its Electric Stabilization Trust Fund – a one-time cash settlement that ended an electric contract with MetEd – to keep the borough-owned electric system funded, Morgan said.

That means the council that takes office in January will have to make difficult decisions about cutting expenses or increasing revenue, Morgan said.  In fact, Morgan plans to encourage the new council to consider opening the budget in January to begin implementing those changes, including possibly raising water and sewer fees.  

Councilor Scott Sites was absent for the vote.

A full story on Middletown’s budget will be published in next week’s printed edition and e-Edition of the Press And Journal.