Facing a $146,000 budget shortfall, it seems likely that borough council will approve a real estate tax increase for 2018. That vote may on happen at the Monday, Dec. 11 council meeting at 7 p.m.
The budget that council is considering would raise the tax on land to 10 mills and the tax on buildings to 6.5 mills. Currently, both land and buildings are taxed at 5.5 mills.
In addition to mandated spending such as sewer compliance work, contractual employee wage increases, and long-planned park and road projects tied to state and federal grants, the budget includes some other spending increases and decreases worth noting:
Street Lighting Is Less Expensive: In 2016, Bridgeville spent nearly $78,000 on street lighting. But that cost is expected to drop to $50,000 next year, thanks to new LED street lights and a new electric supplier.
Businesses Are Contributing More: Here’s another positive sign for the community—Bridgeville’s business privilege tax will remain the same, but the borough expects to collect $16,000 more next years than in 2016.
Municipal Building Restoration: Bridgeville has budgeted $40,000 for improvements at the borough building, including foundation work, concrete repairs, awning maintenance, and new carpeting inside of the building.
New Police Vehicle: For the past few years, council delayed the purchase of a new police vehicle. The 2018 budget includes $45,100 to purchase a new SUV for the department. The actual vehicle costs $28,100, but outfitting it for police duty adds another $17,000 to the price.
Security Cameras at Bridgeville’s Parks: With vandals causing considerable damage to the borough’s parks in recent years, council has budgeted approximately $3,000 to install security cameras.
New Public Works Lawn Mower: After years of service, the public works department’s current park mower is ready for retirement. A new John Deere commercial mower would cost up to $10,000.
Chartiers Park Comprehensive Plan: The road leading down to Chartiers Park is not is fantastic shape. The parking lot could use work, too. There are grants available to help pay for improvements to the park, but to apply for that money, the borough needs to submit thorough comprehensive park plan. This will cost about $35,000. In the long-term, borough officials hope to partner with Upper St. Clair and South Fayette to link Chartiers Park with Fairview Park and the USC recreation center.
Baldwin Street Comprehensive Plan: The borough has hired a consultant to develop a plan to revitalize Baldwin Street. The second phase of that project is expected to begin in 2018 at a cost of $31,000.
Less Rock Salt: Gentle winters have been good to Bridgeville’s road salt supply. With a surplus on hand, the borough plans to spend $60,600 on salt next year. That’s 20% less than last year.
You can review the full proposed budget here [PDF].