Water and sewer customers could see rate hike
The 2012 budget was on the minds of Quakertown Borough Council as they mulled over it at their work session meeting on Monday night.
Borough Vice President Donald Rosenberger presented the budget plan to the council and highlighted some of the proposed changes for 2012.
According to the overview, a slow non-growth economic recovery which included a hiring freeze and a reduced workforce as a result of employee attrition, the goal of the past three years has been to maintain the quality of service while keeping operating budgets flat. Capital and maintenance projects were studied carefully and deferred when possible without compromising safety or services.
The proposed plan for 2012 includes funding for capital improvements within several areas of the borough. For the water system, proposed projects include the completion of three water wells, (7, 8, and 9) the replacement of the main water receptor on Main Street, vehicle replacement, and the installation of chlorine monitoring equipment. The total proposed budget for water improvements is $1.793 Million.
Within Public Works and Public Safety, proposed projects include a Sally Port for the Police Department, which would provide a safe facility to bring and transfer prisoners as they are brought for processing. Other projects would include an improved police radio system, as well several new vehicles and a surveillance system for the community parks in an effort to deter vandalism. The total proposed budget for Public Works and Public Safety is $494,000.
The proposal also includes upgrades for the sewer department including vehicles replacements and upgrades, pump replacement and contracted services for future line upgrades.
While most of the proposed budget reflects no significant changes in earned income taxes, real estate transfer taxes or local services taxes, one area residents may see an increase is in water and sewer costs. The proposed budget plan includes an 18 percent water rate increase for residents within the borough, and a 20 percent increase in sewer rates. An estimate for the proposed water increase shows a residents that uses 5,000 gallons of water per month would pay approximately eight dollars more per month.
Non-resident water customers may see a rate increase of up to 114%. As this would be the first increase for non-resident water customers since 2004, the rates would become proportionate to the resident rates.
The complete budget proposal is available on the Borough’s website, while copies are also available at the Borough Hall. The council is scheduled to vote on the 2012 budget proposal at their next meeting on December 7.