This Meeting was recorded for Accuracy
Present: Amy Lickenfelt, Sue Bartow, Mark Scribe, Clark Baird, Ron Betts, Pat Betts,
Absent: Tom Pickup Mayor, Solicitor Jeff Miller
Public Attendance: George Daugherty, Early Intervention Program
Meeting called to order 5 PM by Amy Lichenfelt.
2017 Budget workshop was started by Amy. Pat spoke up and explained to Amy and Council the (to date income) the Borough has collected and what is projected to receive for the remainder of the year. Pat went over each item of revenue income and how the figures were acquired. The council then agreed on an estimated amount of income for each item of revenue. Council suggested to separate the fines and lien clearance letters because of the fines going to public safety account and lien clearance letters going into general account. Several questions arose on the road permit fees, how the cost is acquired. Pat explained the fee’s associated with the cost of a road opening permit in town. The franchise fee question the council had was, what the difference from last year was and this year. Pat explained the franchise fee is based on the customers who have Comcast cable, phone and internet service for the year.
Council discussed the tool account funds. Everyone agreed to do away with the tool account fund and put remaining funds into the general account. Bring up at next meeting to do away with.
The police fund break down of funds was discussed and agreed to separate the Act 13 funds from the fines. The Act 13 funds are specific for usage so council decided to move the Act 13 funds back into a separate fund in case of the need to use police funds if necessary. Sue ask to check what funds need to be separated. Pat pulled records from the Act 13 funds from 2012 when started and totaled $5,542.40 to date and will transfer back to gas drilling fund to hold in case of emergency. Act 13 funding can be used for roads and or public safety. After review of all potential income, the income total came to $108,761.88 because of council rounding off of figures. Amy questioned what the carryover figure is. Pat explained that is the end of the year figure from the general and payroll account on the 31st of the year.
General expenses was next on the Agenda of discussion. Pat explained how much was spent for salaries, office supplies, auditing, advertising, legal services, engineering services, building repairs, utilities, membership, insurance costs, etc. Pat also anticipated based on prior years spending for the remainder of the year. Council then agreed to approx. spending of each item for 2017. Total cost of general expenses came to $90,261.88
Public Safety - costs was noted to be $13,000.00
Public works - costs was noted to be $5500.00
Liquid Fuels - was balanced out at $19,102.84
Amy mentioned the Johnstown paper had said Bolivar was interested in Regional Police Dept. According to the Mayor, he had been receiving many calls supporting an interest in Regional Police.
Discussion among council and Mr. Dougherty, from EIP on the police service. He was explaining how Regional Police Service would work. He to check with Harrisburg on a Regional Study Analysis on the subject.
In order to balance budget council agreed to place left over additional funds in the building repairs / equipment and engineer services
Note, after final review of figures Pat will have a completed tentative budget to be presented at the next regular meeting November 3.
Amy also wanted Pat to send a copy to Jeffery before the next meeting so he can also be prepared.
Next up, was Sue who wanted to retract a statement from the Oct 6, meeting. In reference to the Hayrides, that the insurance was going to be covered by the Borough. The insurance now is not going to be covered by the Borough but through a private individual. The insurance and vehicle provided has the proof on file. They have one million dollar coverage and the individual has generously allowed us to use the vehicle and trailer for the hayrides. Clark wanted to know why Sue is making the statement, and Amy stated the statement during the last council meeting that the Borough insurance was covering the hayrides and it is not.
Next, item is Mr. Dougherty wanted to go over the financial review of the Borough finances. He also wanted to apologize for not showing up at the regular meeting. He handed out a copy of the financial review he has completed. He has compared throughout the report funding from 2012 through 2016. He brought up donations from 2012 and 2013 that were given to the Borough. It was explained the funds came from Sesquicentennial event. Our revenue and expenses we have been flat throughout the 4 year period. We however are doing ok since we have been showing a small surplus each year.
Mr. Dougherty suggests Bolivar Borough should increase Local Services Tax to $47.00 instead of the current $5.00 This will increase the revenue's and equal the other municipalities who charge $47.00 He also commends the Borough for having built several different reserve funds over the past couple years. This shows the town is healthier than expected.
Dealing with the workers comp increase this past year. Amy wanted to know why the fire department doesn't give us a monthly report on any workers comp incident claims. She said to add to the agenda for next month.
He wants to know for the future, if the Borough can balance the budget each year as he has seen this year, he would like to know where he is to go from here. There is the police issue. Does the community really want this and if so how do you want to handle this? There is a couple options, we first need to improve the tax basis. Need a list of the vacant houses, and businesses. He wants all council members phone numbers so he can contact each person and discuss their opinions on what is needed. 1 thing is also senior services. He will start working with the county on services for us. He to set up several meetings and also talk to DCNR for access to services. He also mentioned working with Laurel Highlands to generate business for us.
Motion to adjourn made by Sue 2nd by Ron. All approved.