Oxford Borough balances budget with no tax increase
● By Steven Hoffman
Oxford Borough has prepared a budget for 2018 that will not require a tax increase.
Overall, the borough's expenditures are decreasing from one year to the next. The expenditures for 2017 were budgeted at approximately $3,719,000. The projected expenditures for 2018 are coming in at $3,490,000—a reduction in spending of about $250,000 when compared to the current year.
There are increased costs for fire, EMS, and ambulance service, most notably the ambulance costs that increased from about $22,000 in 2017 to $37,000 in 2018. The borough's insurance costs also went up.
But the borough was able to absorb these increased costs with a combination of growing revenues and some cost-savings elsewhere.
The borough's revenues increased as a result of some decisions regarding parking regulations. Parking fines and revenues generated from parking meters totaled about $90,000, a signficant increase over the previous year.
The borough was able to see some savings after purchasing new street lights that are more energy efficient. That saved the borough approximately $30,000.
The borough's millage rate will remain at 12.25 mills for 2018.
Oxford Borough Council will hold its first meeting in the new year on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018, when a new mayor, Lorraine Durnan Bell, and three new council members, Amanda Birdwell, Robert Ketcham, and Phillip Hurtt, will be welcomed on board. Council member Ron Hershey also won a four-year term in the November 7 election, and will be sworn in to office that same evening.
Oxford Borough is poised for a big year in 2018, with the construction of the new parking garage and transit center expected to get underway.
The borough has also boosted its codes enforcement operations and inspections. A sidewalk committee has been formed to help reach a consensus on regulations that would best meet the needs of borough residents. The goal is to make Oxford a walkable community with sidewalks that are safe for pedestrians.
“The things that we're doing will affect Oxford in a positive way for 40 or 50 years,” borough manager Brian Hoover said.