Denver Borough Council adopts 2019 budget

By on December 12, 2018

Denver Council on Dec. 10 meeting adopted their proposed 2019, 3.6 million budget.

It has no tax increase. The millage rate remains at 2.5 mills. Residents will see an increase in water rates from $7.50 to $7.55 per thousand gallons, which will raise $21,000 in additional revenue.
“Our goal is small, incremental increases so we don’t need a big increase all at once, borough manager Mike Hession explained in his budget executive summary.

Prior to adopting the budget, allocations for school resource officer, Adamstown Area Library and economic development were discussed.

Denver’s fair share for the Cocalico School District’s school resource officer (SRO), Eric Fisher, is $11,878.97. The school district is picking up 60 percent of the cost and East Cocalico and Denver are picking up the remaining 40 percent.

Blake Daub, council president, as well as other council members expressed deep disappointment that Adamstown and West Cocalico Township, while supporting the SRO program, declined to financially commit their fair share to the new program.
Alan Fry, chairman of East Cocalico supervisors, was in the audience and thanked Denver for their commitment to the SRO program.

Adamstown council cited their inability to work with East Cocalico to form a regional police force approximately three years ago at a previous council meeting when SRO funding was discussed.

“That comment really got to me,” said council member Matt Stover. “We need to move on.”

“The bottom line is we’re all one school district and all one Cocalico community,” said Daub. “For some reason the entities seem unable to work together.”

In discussing Denver’s annual donation to the Adamstown Area Library, council member Jason South expressed frustration with the fact that Denver faced major, unplanned for expenses this year with their wells, the filter plant and have alleys badly in need of repair.
“We’re always extending the olive branch and stepping up to cooperate,” South said. “I’m ready to clip the olive branch.”

Council member Todd Stewart said, “Whatever we think of the (Adamstown) borough council, we should not cut funding to the library because of the council.”

Chris Flory made the first motion, which did not pass, regarding changing Denver’s annual $12,240 library donation. Flory proposed using the $12,240 for an engineer to determine which alley needs refurbished first. Any money remaining after the engineer’s fee and repair costs would be forwarded to the library.

Council member John Palm said it is unlikely council could do an alley for less than $12,000, it likely would cost more, which would leave the library with nothing.

Palm moved to reduce Denver’s library donation by $6,000, which would have been Adamstown’s fair share for the SRO program.
The motion passed with Stewart voting “no.”

Council expediently approved moving $2,500 from the general fund to increase the economic development fund to $4,000. Councilman Dan Rogers said he’s interested in promoting Denver’s businesses. Hession said, “Timing is good as all our empty buildings are now occupied with businesses.”
Alice Hummer is a correspondent for The Ephrata Review.

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