No real estate tax increase in Denver Water, sewer rates will rise

By on November 20, 2012

By: ALICE HUMMER Review Correspondent, Staff Writer

Preliminary approval was granted by Denver Council to the proposed 2.5 million, 2013 budget at its Nov. 12 meeting. The final vote to adopt the budget will be Dec. 10.

Mike Hession, Denver Borough Manager, said, "A little over $13,000 was pulled from the reserve account to balance the budget."

Real estate assessment remains at 3 mills, with the average residential property assessment of $132,787 paying $390.39. Denver’s real estate assessment is ranked the seventh lowest in Lancaster County, with the average real estate millage rate for boroughs at 3.85.

The water and sewer rate increase is 5.3 percent each. Water will go from $4.75 to $5 per thousand gallons.

"We’re seeing people conserving more water," said Hession. "That is reflected by the fact that the borough is using less water."

"Sewer rates will increase from $9.50 to $10 per thousand gallons," said Hession.

Earned income taxes are projected to increase, based on actual collections in 2012, from $310,755 to $367,000.

The largest chunk of the borough budget is police costs. East Cocalico Police Department provides services to Denver, as well as Adamstown Borough, and East and West Cocalico Townships.

Projected police costs increased approximately 6.2 percent, which would add $32,480. Denver paid $520,930 in 2012 and projects $553,410 for 2013.

"Police budget final figures," said Police Chief, George Beever, will be available in the next two weeks."

Annual contributions to Denver Fire Company will double, from $14,000 to $28,000. A $3,000 dollar Capital Fund contribution includes $500 for Fire Police.

The borough increased costs allocated for fire company workman’s compensation (required by law), fuel and air cards/communications based on actual 2012 costs.

Fire company officials and borough officials met earlier this year. Financial reports show the company lacks the financial security needed for continued service and replacement of necessary equipment.

The 2013 borough budget allocates $4,000 to pay for a fire services study.

The 1975 N. Reading Road property, originally purchased jointly by East and West Cocalico Townships and Adamstown and Denver for recreation, is allocated $48,000 annual debt service payment. The recession made this project, and the resale of the property, financially not feasible.

New purchases included in the 2013 budget include a John Deere Tractor ($3,770) and Autocon Computer System to control the Borough’s public water and sewer systems ($24,000).

Denver Community Pool’s allocation includes $19,000 to meet new ADA requirements. Hession explained that the borough anticipated compliance being needed a year ago, "but the rules keep changing." Should an extension occur, meaning that two handicapped entrance/exits to the Denver Pool will not be required, that money could become available.

The complete, line item budget is available for inspection at the Denver Borough Muncipal Building, 501 Main Street, or online at dboro@ptd.net.

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