Macungie Council approved a second preliminary budget for 2012 at its Jan. 17 meeting.
After months of budget workshop meetings beginning in October, and several end-of-year council meetings where few members could agree, the seven-member council just in time to allow for a 10-day public viewing of the original preliminary effort.
They passed it -- with a .68 of a mil tax increase -- on Dec. 28.
Two weeks ago, Borough Manager Chris Boehm called on council -- with its three new members -- to re-open the budget and raise taxes by 2 mils which, she said, would “restore the quality of life” in the borough.
But at a budget workshop meeting on Jan. 12, council members came together on a plan that would raise taxes 1.45 mils instead of the full 2 mils.
For residents whose homes are assessed at the borough average of $67,000, the proposed 1.45-mil increase would mean an annual tax bill of $562.80, an increase of $97.16 over taxes paid in 2011.
The $3.4 million budget now on the table would restore some, but not all of what Boehm mentioned two weeks ago.
It would restore:
- Both the administrative assistant and building coordinator’s positions to full-time with benefits.
- The $1,500 contribution to the Lower Lehigh Lions for the Halloween parade.
- The $3,000 to the Macungie Youth Association.
- The $500 for special event decorations.
It would not restore:
- The sixth police officer position, but would increase the part-time police officer wages by $7,359 for a total of $51,359 to be used to hire part-time officers to fill any gaps in coverage.
- The $300 to cover the cost of holiday lighting, which is expected to be covered by donations.
The new proposed preliminary budget will be advertised immediately and will be on display for public examination at Borough Hall beginning Jan. 23 for 10 business days.
Council plans to vote on the budget at its next meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 6 at the Macungie Institute.