Coatesville Council discusses cuts to reach 2015 budget goal

City has $191k to go to balance $9.734k budget; 1 mil tax increase proposed

By Kyle CarrozzaStaff Writer, The Times


budget, city council, coatesville

COATESVILLE – After further discussion on Wednesday night, the city still has a deficit of over $191,000 to make up before finalizing a 2015 budget. As it stands now, the preliminary budget proposes a 1 mil tax increase with no money coming from the city’s trust fund.

On Wednesday night, city council, along with Interim City Manager Michael O’Rourke, Finance Director John Marcarelli, and Police Chief Jack Laufer discussed the various expenses in the budget and what they felt comfortable cutting and what they did not. Possible cuts could from the public works, parks, or SWEEPS department though nothing will be officially decided until a final budget is passed.

In addition, city officials discussed how to make the most of the money they do spend. Marcarelli said that some employees require “hand-holding” while doing their jobs. City Council President Linda Lavender-Norris said that this was unacceptable.

“Stop the hand-holding, and hold the employees accountable,” she said.

At council’s recommendation, O’Rourke said that he would look into other sources of potential income for the city. Council member Bill Shaw suggested looking into a Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program that would collect money from various entities around the city that are exempt from taxes. Council member Ed Simpson said that the city needs to do a better job at ensuring the city gets a fair share of revenue from the county and ensure that county money is spent properly.

“We have not proven to them that we can manage the money they’ve given us,” he said, pointing to the community center, which received money from the county.

Council will continue discussions in coming weeks. Lavender-Norris said at a meeting last month that they expect to pass a budget by the end of February.

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