Telford Borough approved its 2020 budget at the Nov. 4 borough council meeting with a very slight increase in taxes. The millage rate will be 6.74 mills, which is a 0.1 percent increase millage increase from last year.
Council members unanimously approved the budget. General funds are at 6.14 mills, and the library and fire company are each at .30 mills. Telford denied the library’s request to increase the mills to .33.
According to borough Manager Mark Fournier, this means a house assessed for $150,000 would see taxes increase about $15 annually. The 2020 budget expects its revenues to be $3,537,457 and its expenditures to be $3,524,290.
“Money is tight. There’s not a whole lot of cushion here,” Fournier said. The surplus of the budget is about one percent -- or $13,167.
Fournier said that in order to pass the budget, minor cuts were made to both the highway department and police department budgets. These include eliminating the police station front lobby hardening project -- a $10,000 cut; seal coating the municipal parking lot along Penn Avenue for a $6,500 cut; and eliminating $10,000 worth of security cameras for the new borough hall renovation project.
The renovation of the borough hall includes moving the borough offices into the former Univest Bank building. Bracy Construction of Allentown received the $618,250 contract. The work is expected to be completed by next summer.
At Monday night’s meeting, resident Dianne Forwood of Paddock Circle questioned the recently passed ordinance dealing with recreation equipment blocking streets and sidewalks. She wanted to know why the ordinance was in place. She has a basketball net that hangs over the right of way and was told to remove it.
Fournier said that sports equipment doesn’t belong in the road right of way.
“The police chief didn’t want children playing in the street and potentially getting hit,” Fournier said. “We have nice park facilities with basketball hoops. We’re hoping for compliance, not a penalty. That’s why we have given lots of warnings before citations.”
Foorwood said that she isn’t happy about the ordinance, because she intentionally purchased her cul-de-sac-house, so that children could play in the street. Her children are grown, and she likes to have the neighborhood children be able to use the basketball hoop.
She said that Paddock Circles is very safe. “Playing in the street is just as safe as walking down the sidewalk,” she said.
In other business, upcoming events for December were noted:
- Souderton’s tree lighting on Dec. 6 from 7 to 9 p.m. at 121 N. Main St. Souderton.
- Souderton holiday parade on Dec. 7 at 11 a.m.
- Telford tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Telford Train Station.
The next council meeting will be Dec. 9.