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Tyrone passes $4.1M budget

Plan calls for no tax increase

TYRONE — Borough Council this week adopted a $4.1 million budget for next year that calls for no increase to the 2.225 property tax millage.

The budget predicts a $168,000 operational deficit, with that deficit being covered by unanticipated revenue that came to the borough this year, according to Finance Director Shannon Wilson.

The borough took a conservative approach — high on expenses, low on revenues — but not as conservative as in the past, according to Borough Manager Ardean Latchford.

The borough took a different approach for next year “so the numbers are more realistic,” Latchford said.

The general fund budget for this year called for a $1 million operational deficit on expenses of $3.4 million, but actual expenses by the end of this year will have used only about $288,000 from reserves to cover that predicted deficit, according to the budget document.

The budget for 2020 calls for only $2.7 million in expenses, $700,000 less than in this year’s budget.

The reserve fund, which isn’t needed to cover the small predicted operational deficit for 2020, will be about $737,000 at the beginning of that year, or around 25 percent of budgeted expenses, Wilson said.

That reserve can help cover annual variances in operating expenditures, according to Wilson.

The newly adopted budget calls for a 2.5 percent wage increase for uniformed employees and a 2 percent increase for non-uniformed employees.

It also calls for $6,000 raises for Latchford, bringing his salary to $78,500, and for Finance Director Shannon Wilson, bringing her salary to $56,900.

The unanticipated income that wasn’t predicted in the 2019 budget includes money from the sale of rural property and a recently negotiated $250,000 payment from the company that operates windmills on borough property, in the context of negotiating a renewal of the lease with that company, according to Latchford.

The 2020 budget also takes into account costs that the borough hopes to avoid in a deal for disposal of sewer sludge it has been negotiating with the Altoona Water Authority, according to Latchford.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.

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