2011-12-15 / Front Page

Boro Gives Final Approval To 2012 Budget

OKs plans for Kelso-Cornelius crematorium
By Jean Snyder
STAFF WRITER

McConnellsburg Borough Council gave unanimous approval to a 2012 budget that calls for no tax increases and projects increased spending of only $5,000 over 2011 expected expenditures.

The budget was passed on a David Washabaugh/Rick Buterbaugh motion at the council’s regular meeting held last Wednesday evening. During November’s meeting, council voted to keep taxes at 5 mills on real estate, an occupation tax of 20 mills and a per-capita tax of $5.

Borough taxpayers will also pay a one-half percent real estate transfer tax and a one-half percent wage tax.

The 2012 budget calls for total expenditures of $258,011.88 to be offset by $411,498 in revenue. The borough expects to spend $118,249 on general government, $33,262 on protection of persons and property and $106,500 on highways. It is anticipated that the borough will end the year with a surplus of $153,487.

Other business

During other business, council met with Brett Cornelius, owner of Kelso-Cornelius funeral home, who presented his plans to erect a crematorium in the rear of his funeral home property. According to Cornelius, the crematorium will be erected in an existing building and will measure approximately 28 x 38 feet.

Cornelius noted he would be working with B&L Cremation Systems, a company that has clients in all 50 states and has erected 53 units in Pennsylvania. He also commented on the need for the services, saying that nearly 50 percent of his advanced planning services are for cremations. Nationally, cremations have gone from 35 percent in 2005 to a projected

44 percent in 2015. Cremations are projected at 57 percent in 2025,

Council asked environmental questions regarding smoke and odor emissions. Cornelius assured council members that there would be no odor and a very minimal emission or discharge from the stack. The cremation incinerator operates at 1,400-2,100 degrees when operational.

According to Cornelius, crematorium operators must go through training and become state certified. “It is an incredibly regulated business,” he said.

Although council approved the plan that is now going through various permitting processes, council members also noted that their approval is not required since the project does not violate any zoning or other borough ordinances.

Also during other business, council members met with Commissioner Bonnie Mellott Keefer regarding the stormwater drainage system for the county’s building project. Council members have been concerned about water runoff and about the drainage areas for the project. Commissioner Keefer noted that the alley from Walnut Street to the Neighborhood Service Center will need to be paved in order to rectify the problem and a discussion was held about having the borough use liquid fuel funds to do the paving. She was instructed to contact the PennDOT district engineer for further inspection from PennDOT.

Borough secretary Jack Fields raised the issue of payment for workers’ compensation for the local fire company’s paid employees. Council had to pay the bill last year after the fire company began being billed separately for paid employees. Council shares the bill with Ayr, Todd and Licking Creek townships. On a Pat Frazier/David Washabaugh motion, council voted to pay the bill for one more year only and that bills in any future years would not be paid. Councilman Rick Buterbaugh voted “no” on the payment of the bill.

As a follow-up to a citizen’s question last month about the alley being opened off Myers Avenue, council reviewed its agreement with the property owner discussed during meetings held 7/4/04, 9/5/04 and 10/6/04. As a result of the review, council members said they believe the property owners only recourse would be to appeal to the homeowner’s association. The Myers Avenue property owner had expressed frustration over cars driving over her sidewalk and lawn to make the turn into the 10-foot alley.

Regular business

During regular business, council voted to pay bills in the amount of $9,291.20. Receipts for the same period were $13,448.36. Checks were written for $18,011.73, leaving a December 1 balance of $36,237.50.

Fields reminded council members that their reorganization meeting will be held Wednesday, January 4, 2012, at 7:30 p.m. and that incumbent councilmen reelected, including Rick Buterbaugh, Mack Shaffer, David Washabaugh and Travis Bard, must be sworn in prior to that meeting.

Council members present at the December meeting were Travis Bard, David Washabaugh, Pat Booth, Pat Frazier, Rick Buterbaugh, Mack Shaffer and Mayor Mike Chilcote.

Council meets the first Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Fulton House. The next regular meeting will be held January 4, 2012.

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