I am pleased to present to Borough Council the 2015 operating budget, totaling $6.6 million. The proposed 2015 budget will have no increase in real estate taxes. Borough Councils stated goal to have no increase in real estate taxes for 2015 was realized through several cost reduction measures and the combined efforts of value management by administrative staff, department managers and Borough Council.
The 2015 operating budget not only holds the line on real estate taxes but will allow for continued improvement in services provided to the tax payer. This has been accomplished by the reorganization of all departments, modernization of all Borough functions and continual cost management oversight.
Planned projects for 2015 will include but are not limited to; upgrades to Borough infrastructure, an expanded paving program, construction of the associated accessible ADA curb cut ramp construction, installation of information and technology hardware / software & associated securities, modernization of all Borough technologies, increased involvement in social media, installation of new and upgrade to existing school zone warning lights, signage & road striping throughout the Borough, stormwater inlet rehabilitation and the replacement of community playground equipment.
The 2015 budget also includes a proposed increase to the sanitary sewer billing of (10.0%). This sewer rate increase was necessitated to cover construction costs that are mandated by the PaDEP. These
mandated upgrades are to the conveyance system that our sewage utilizes to flow through Cheltenham Township and on to its ultimate destination at the Philadelphia Sewer treatment plant. Borough Council commissioned a sewer rate study to analyze the current rates & rate structure to determine a fair and appropriate rate that would cover current and projected system costs with the least negative impact to the rate payers. The (10.0%) increase would cover current projected costs of construction.
Sanitary Sewer Fund (08) continued – The total estimated cost of the mandated upgrade to the sewage conveyance system is approximately $16,000,000. Borough Council and the appointed Professionals worked tirelessly to negotiate and improve the Boroughs standing through the inter-municipal sewer agreement. The former agreement had not been updated since 1927. Along with modernizing the requirements and responsibilities of all parties and allowing for a more fair distribution of EDU’s to the contributing Municipalities, the Borough was able to reduce the percentage of the Borough’s financial liability on any future upgrades to the conveyance system from approximately 11.9% to 8.9%. That 3%
reduction realized an approximate savings to the Jenkintown Borough’s rate payers of $480,000 on the aforementioned $16,000,000 mandated upgrade project.
Jenkintown Borough is also pleased to announce a renewed partnership with the Montgomery County Planning Commission. This collaborative partnership will allow Jenkintown Borough to benefit from the talented team of County Professional Planners as we undertake a complete upgrade of the Comprehensive plan. The most current Revitalization Plan has been so successful that new goals will be updated in that as well.
In comparison to the prior 3 years, the tax assessment reduction appeals have slowed and stabilized; the real estate assessment for Jenkintown Borough provided by the Montgomery County Board of Assessment has a slight increase in the amount of $550,950 for 2015.
On December 15, 2014, the Jenkintown Borough Council adopted the 2015 Operating Budget. The 2015 Budget Summary can be found here.