2009-12-10 / Front Page

Boro Council OKs Final 2010 Budget

No tax increase; must fill vacancy in January

McConnellsburg Borough Council members adopted a final 2010 budget, discussed debris in the town’s stream with watershed specialist Scott Alexander and conducted other routine business at their final 2009 meeting held last Wednesday evening.

Final 2010 budget

The council adopted a final 2010 budget that basically mirrors its proposed budget set forth last month. The budget calls for no tax increase with property tax remaining at 5 mills, occupation at 20 mills and a $5 per-capita tax.

The final budget sets total spending at $448,068 to be offset by revenues of $516,980. Council expects to end 2010 with only $68,912, which is much less than previous years due to the $177,000 required contribution to the police pension fund as a result of the final agreement made when the department was disbanded at the end of 2008.

The final budget, presented by borough secretary Jack Fields was unanimously approved on a Lee Rager/Travis Bard motion.

Stream cleanup

Council members discussed the large amount of debris in the stream that runs through the borough, and members have expressed concern about the “dam effect” being caused by the debris, especially under the Antietam Iron Building. The local conservation district’s watershed specialist, Scott Alexander, attended the meeting to discuss options and to discuss stormwater runoff in the borough in general.

Alexander explained that there is not grant money currently available that would help with the stream cleanup, but he did suggest that council may want to contact individual property owners to discuss the matter as a starting point. Alexander agreed to notify council members should any funding become available.

During routine business, council approved liquid fuel expenditures of $684 for four new truck tires for the borough’s truck; approved payment of $454 for caps for the new street signs to be erected; approved a request from the Historical Society to build a 10-foot-by-10-foot insulated room in the Fulton House attic to store the society’s quilts and old newspapers; and approved a request from the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism to bag the meters to provide free parking downtown from now until the new year.

Council also discussed complaints it has received about dog owners walking dogs and not cleaning up after them. Fields was authorized to advertise in the newspaper that dog owners who do not comply with the state law will be cited in the future.

Council reviewed its engineer’s report on the county’s renovation and rehabilitation project. The Keller Engineer report said that the county must provide a letter assuring that the stormwater management system will be a permanent system. It also stated that the borough solicitor should receive and review the stormwater maintenance agreement, and the county must obtain a permit from PennDOT for the alley to North Second Street.

Council indicated it would recommend approval of the plans but did not take action pending the solicitor’s receipt of the stormwater maintenance agreement.

During old business, Councilwoman Pat Frazier reported that she has submitted another Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application for sidewalks, with Phase 1 to begin in the business area. The funding, if awarded, could be used for new sidewalks or for sidewalk repairs. Frazier said she asked for $75,000 or whatever is available. Council applied for the project last year and did not receive funding.

Council President Rick Buterbaugh reported on the Parks and Rec Commission. He said it will be hiring a new parttime director following the resignation of Chanin Rotz-Mountz, and he encouraged other township members to attend the meetings.

Regular business

During regular business, council members approved payment of November bills in the amount of $15,145. Receipts for the same period were $8,688.03. Checks were written for $11,877.29, and the December 1 balance was $52,757.23.

Council will reorganize on Monday, January 4, 2010 (rather than on its usual Wednesday night meeting) at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night marked the last meeting for both Mayor Jim Stenger, who did not run for reelection, and for Councilman Lee Rager, who was defeated in the November election by Patrick Booth.

Both men thanked council for their cooperation. “I’ve appreciated everybody and I think we’ve gotten a lot done,” Stenger said.

Councilman Mike Chilcote announced he will resign his position at 11:59 p.m. on December 31 in order to take over his newly elected position as mayor.

According to borough solicitor Carlton Walker, council must fill the vacancy created by Chilcote within 30 days by appointment and resolution. Council may appoint any borough citizen who has resided in the borough for at least one year. If the appointment is not made within 30 days, then council must appoint a vacancy board comprised of council members (not including the mayor) and one additional elector in the borough. If the vacancy board does not complete the task within 15 days, the vacancy will be filled by the Court of Common Pleas.

Council members present included Rick Buterbaugh, Mike Chilcote, Pat Frazier, Travis Bard, Lee Rager and Mayor Jim Stenger.

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