SOUDERTON — The numbers are officially in for next year's proposed budget.
"The tax rate for all funds will remain at the current levels," Borough Manager Mike Coll said at Souderton Borough Council's Nov. 4 meeting.
That keeps the property rate at 5.78 mills, including 5.2 mills for the general fund, 0.25 mills for fire prevention, and 0.33 mills for the library tax.
That gives an $867 borough property tax bill for the owner of a home assessed at $150,000. Each mill equals $1 of tax per $1,000 of assessed property value.
With a proposed $3,858,760 of revenue and $3,843,712 of expenses, the general fund spending includes $1,152,247 for police protection, $712,060 for highway maintenance, and $631,585 for administration, finance and planning.
While the tax rate remains the same, trash collection fees will be increasing for the proposed budget. The new rates will be a $5 per quarter year increase for people using the tote system, putting that bill at $65 per quarter year, and an increase of $2 per quarter year, putting that bill at $22, for people using the bag system, Coll said.
A final vote on the budget will be taken at Souderton Borough Council's Dec. 2 meeting.
The Nov. 4 meeting also included approval of a $500,000 loan from Univest for a planned six year project of improvements and additions at Souderton Community Park.
The Souderton-Telford Rotary Club, which is leading fundraising efforts for the project, has a goal of raising $1 million, council member and Rotary member Dan Yocum said.
The loan allows the project to get started while the fundraising is taking place, council member Jeff Gross said.
The proposed budget allocates $269,000 to work at the park next year.
Following the meeting, Coll said the 10-year loan will have an interest rate of 3.4 percent for the first 7 years, after which it could change. The loan can be paid back early without any penalty, he said.
The meeting also included approval of a $250,000 tax anticipation loan from Univest. Tax anticipation loans are short term loans taken out at the beginning of the year and repaid as tax money is received. The interest rate on the tax anticipation loan will be about 4 percent, Coll said after the meeting.
In another matter, the board approved a resolution supporting efforts to have the state allow local police departments to use radar for speed enforcement.
"That has been a hot topic and I think Pennsylvania now is the only state that does not allow local municipalities to use radar equipment," Coll said.
Several upcoming events were also noted:
• Barbara Bruns will perform on Zion Mennonite Church's Fisk pipe organ during a recital at the church on Sunday, Nov. 10, Yocum said.
Doors will open at 3 p.m. for browsing of works by local artists and tastings from local restaurants, followed by the concert from 4 to 5 p.m., and additional browsing and tasting 5 to 6 p.m., according to event information.
No tickets are required; a free-will offering will be held. The concert is a benefit for the Bean Bag Food Program, which provides food over the weekends for Souderton Area School District students in low-income families.
"The Bean Bag Food Program anticipates delivering over 8,500 bags of food to 225 children during the 2019-2020 school year. These children face a weekend gap in nutrition and available food," concert information says.
Zion Mennonite Church is at Front Street and Cherry Lane in Souderton.
• Scooter's Bike Shop's Cranksgiving, which was held for the first time last year, will be Saturday, Nov. 16 this year, council President Brian Goshow, one of the organizers of the bicycle ride to provide food for Keystone Opportunity Center's food pantry, said.
Cranksgiving rides are part of a national initiative, Goshow said.
The Souderton one, which begins at Souderton Community Park, goes to one or both of the Landis Supermarkets in Telford and Vernfield, where the bike riders purchase items for the food pantry.
"Last year, we raised over 1,000 pounds of food for the food bank, so this year we have almost three times as many participants so we are hoping for over 3,000 pounds," Goshow said.
• Zion Mennonite Church will again be hosting its annual Table of Plenty free community Thanksgiving meal, council member Ned Leight said. The meal will be 11:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 28, according to information on the Table of Plenty Thanksgiving Community Meal Facebook page.
To make reservations, call 215-723-3592 by Nov. 22.
• The annual Indian Valley Hometown Christmas 2019 Holiday House Tour will be held for the ninth time this year, Mayor John Reynolds said.
Tour information describes it as "A self-guided tour of Local Homes filled with Charm and Character and decorated by the homeowners."
It will be noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1.
Organized by Zwingli United Church of Christ, proceeds from the tour benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Philadelphia. Tickets are $20 per person. Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling the church at 215-723-1186 or at the church on the day of the event.
Zwingli UCC is at 350 Wile Avenue in Souderton.
• The Souderton Alumni Men's Chorus, directed by Jon Leight, will perform in concert 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1 at Zwingli UCC, Reynolds said.
No tickets are required; there will be a free-will offering, event information says.