Schuylkill approves county budget for 2013; taxes remain stable for ninth straight year
Published: December 27, 2012
Font size: [A] [A] [A]
POTTSVILLE - The Schuylkill County commissioners approved their 2013 budget during a work session Wednesday, Dec. 19 holding the line on taxes for the ninth consecutive year despite a $2 million shortfall.
Expected expenditures and revenue slightly increased from the preliminary budget presented last month. The final budget has county expenditures listed at $47,935,397, with a projected revenue of $45,635,692. The shortfall of about $2,299,705 will come from the county general fund, which consists of 61 percent real estate taxes, 18 percent service charges, 1 percent per capita taxes, 7 percent federal and state grants, and 13 percent other revenues.
According to the treasurer's report, the county general fund was $17,015,467.50 on Wednesday, down from $19,180,745.58 on Nov. 12. All county accounts were balanced at $46,651,527.51, down from $48,907,895.88 on Nov. 12, according to the report.
County taxes remain at 11.98 mills, or 119.8 cents on each $100 of assessed value. This includes 11.42 mills for general purposes and 0.56 mills for debt purposes. Per capita tax will remain at $5.
The board also approved an agreement with Motorola Solutions Inc. for the federally mandated upgrades to the county's public safety communications network for $16,388,145. The project will be funded by the $21,175,000 general obligation bond the board finalized last month to finance several infrastructure improvements in the upcoming year. Other projects include a new roof on the county jail, possibly the purchase of a building for the human services complex and additional projects.
The board also decided to terminate the contract with Pottsville accountant Sam Deegan, who served as external auditor for the county for the last three years. There was a fourth year on his contract but the county had the option to terminate the deal as long as he was given a 30-day notice. The county will start taking bids for the services shortly after the new year.
"They told us they were very happy with our work and just wanted to put the services back out to bid," Deegan said Wednesday.
The commissioners also appointed members to several county boards.
Appointed to the county solid waste advisory committee were: Lee Raring, county recycling coordinator; Steve Field, Wiener Iron & Metal Corp.; Mike Devlin, Schuylkill Haven Borough; Bob Stablum, Schuylkill Keep It Pretty; Chris Brommer, Blue Mountain High School; Brett Dexter, CES Landfill; Larry Witting, Tamaqua Transfer Station; Jim Thomas, Cass Township; Lori Van Hoekelen, LVH Industries; Tom Palamar, City of Pottsville; and Jonas Krietzer or Mike Walborn, Kreitzer Sanitation.
Nicholas E. Troutman, Gordon, and Robert Carl, Orwigsburg, were reappointed to the Schuylkill County Transportation Authority for five-year terms through Dec. 31, 2017.
Frank Zukas, Pottsville, and Ned Connors, Pottsville, were appointed to the Schuylkill County Municipal Authority for a five-year term through Dec. 31, 2017.
Craig Shields, Pottsville, was reappointed to the Schuylkill County Airport Authority for a five-year term through Dec. 31, 2017.
Martha Herron, PPL's regional community relations director, was appointed as a member of the Luzerne/Schuylkill Workforce Investment Board for a five-year term through Dec. 31, 2017.
Darlene Dolzani, Orwigsburg, Karl K. Kramer, Schuylkill Haven, and G. Robert Sterling, Pottsville, were reappointed as members of the Schuylkill County Industrial Development Authority for a five-year term through Dec. 31, 2017.