No tax increase anticipated in Kennett Square Borough
● By Steven Hoffman
Kennett Square Borough Council will consider adopting the 2016 budget at its next meeting on Monday, Dec. 7, and even though the spending plan is still a work-in-progress, it seems unlikely that there will be a tax increase. Council is expected to also vote on an ordinance setting the millage rate at 6.35 mills for 2016, the same rate as the current year.
The general fund budget will increase slightly from one year to the next, from $4,553,100 to $4,777,700. A tax increase to pay for the expenditure increase is not necessary in part because the borough is seeing more revenues being generated by the earned-income tax. The borough is also relying on a transfer from the water fund to the general fund to balance the budget.
According to budget documents, in addition to the $4,777,700 general fund, the water fund will amount to $1,468,600, the sewer fund will total $2,732,200, and the parking fund will be $3,911,000. Add in the general capital improvement fund ($908,000), solid waste fund ($367,000), liquid fuels fund ($284,700), and the emergency management fund ($69,200), and the proposed total of all the funds, including interfund transfers, is $14,518,400.
Expenditures for general government operations is increasing by 14.28 percent. The borough manager position is being fully funded in 2016, whereas there was a vacancy for a portion of 2014 and 2015. There is a 2.5 percent salary increase for non-uniform employees.
the borough is also allocating money to do repairs on borough hall, including work on the structural support beams for the first and second floors, repairs to the front steps, and painting.
The budget includes a 3 percent salary increase for uniformed employees, and a 2.5 percent increase for non-uniform public safety employees. The police department is creating the position of sergeant, and the budget also includes money for the hiring of two full-time officers.
The budget includes a 2.5 percent increase in salaries for public works department employees. The public works director’s position is also slated to be filled.
While there is no millage tax increase proposed, water rates and sewer rates are expected to be increased by three percent each.
The Dec. 7 meeting will be held at the Kennett Fire Company’s Red Clay Room, and it will begin at 7 p.m.