Budget and finance concerns the topics at Bellwood Borough Council

Bellwood Borough Council met last night to accept the budget as previously proposed.
Council members also voted, four to two, to adopt ordinance No. 471, with 30 mils for the 2006 fiscal year, and a separate two mils set aside for fire protection.
“I would like to compliment Chris (Creek) on the work he did on the budget this year,” said council member Sue Johnson following the budget discussion, “He put a lot of hours into this.”
Financial concerns were also on the mind of librarian Hazel Bilka last night as she addressed the council, asking that library funding not be cut.
She explained the library asks council for $7,000. The library also asked for funds from Antis Township each year.
“I know things are tight, but I feel that the library is an important asset to the community,” said Bilka.
She went on to explain that although the library is looking at expanding, “That’s a totally different pot of money.”
Bilka said, “The money we get from the borough and township is for the operation of the library such as heating, water and getting new books.”
Council members agreed with Bilka as far as the importance of the library within the community.
“I think it was just a misunderstanding,” said Johnson, of the decrease in library funding for 2006.
Bilka explained how the library system has changed within the state in the last few years.
“Previously, we were able to be open longer and buy more books,” she said, “but when the administration changed, libraries were cut by almost 33 percent.”
Although this cut was made, Bilka said regulations remained the same. The library is still required to be open for a specified number of hours and buy an increasing amount of books each year.
Following Bilka’s explanation, council members all agreed that the money to fund the library needed to be found.
“We will do everything that we can to maintain the funding for 2006 that we did in 2005,” said council member Chris Creek.
“I can’t promise that we can increase it, but we will definitely try to maintain it.”
Randall Kring from Keller Engineering was also on hand last night to discuss the addition to the library.
Kring told council there is a problem with storm water runoff because it is regulated that when adding to the building, the storm water runoff cannot increase. The planned addition to the library takes up the whole lot. Kring said since there was previously a building on that lot, he hoped the runoff would not increase. However, after his calculations, he found their would be a very slight increase at seven hundredths of a CSF.
Kring went on to explain that he could fix this so that there was no increase but that could also create problems. By digging a ditch, as he suggested, it could cause the water to run toward the new building, creating structural damage. Also, the water could run off to the adjoining property and into the basement of that building.
“What I wanted is to see if council could waive this requirement, since the runoff increase is so minimal,” said Kring.
“So, basically, what you’re saying is that the solution will cause more problems than the initial runoff,” said Creek. “I’d be in favor of that (waiver), granted council is able to do that.”
Council agreed to look into the matter to be sure they were legally about to grant such a variance.