Tyrone Boro Council meeting tonight canceled; moved to Dec. 15

The Tyrone Borough Council will not hold its December work session meeting tonight at the municipal building due to some council members having other commitments. The borough has also canceled its Monday, December 8 regular session.
Council will now convene on Monday, December 15 at 7 p.m., and will fall back into its regular routine in January of the first and second Monday being designated for meetings.
Two major issues, the borough’s 2009 budget and a watershed report, will be reviewed at the December 15 meeting.
James Casselberry of Casselberry and Associates, Inc. out of State College, was not able to attend tonight’s meeting, which was another reason why the borough opted to cancel. Casselberry is preparing to present council preliminary information on a watershed report done by the firm for the borough’s Ice Mountain property.
Borough Manager Sharon Dannaway said that Casselberry will be at the December 15 meeting, but the information he will present will not be a “final report.” Casselberry’s preliminary findings will provide council the opportunity to decide what options council members will want to pursue next.
The watershed report idea was prompted by council’s want of more information on the property that contains the borough’s water supply, as well as land that has attracted the eyes of a potential 10 to 15 turbine wind farm by Gamesa Energy USA. Land has also been sought in the area for potential natural gas drilling.
Both wind power and gas drilling have its pros and cons, as well as monetary gains, and council hopes that the report will provide more concrete answers.
Dannaway didn’t say if council would vote on the proposed Gamesa wind farm that could possibly generate $3 to $5 million over a 30 year span, but it would be unlikely since Casselberry’s report will hold only preliminary findings.
Council members also plan to review its 2009 fiscal year budget on December 15. Presently, the borough’s proposed budget shows no increases in taxes or rates.
The 2009 proposed budget amounts to $8,211,000, which includes the general fund, capital expenditures, water and sewer, and highway aid. Dannaway said that all the increases in the budget are mostly “out of the borough’s control”, such as utilities and gas prices.
“Those prices are down right now, but they could spike up,” added Dannaway.
Another increases includes a three percent wage increase for borough employees that has been in the works for a few years between union and police contracts.
Dannaway said that many of the borough’s expenses stay steady in all the departments year in and year out. She attributes that to all of the department heads working very closely and watching spending.
Many municipalities are struggling with paying for road salt this winter, due to the increase in its cost, but Tyrone Borough is a member of COSTAR, which is a state program where municipalities can purchase capital items, such as road salt, at a fair market value.
Tyrone Borough’s 2008 proposed budget was $8,309,800, so the borough is saving $98,800 this year with its proposed $8,211,000 budget. The borough’s expenditures were under budget in 2008.
After council approves its proposed 2009 budget worksheets, which then becomes the official proposed budget, the borough must then wait ten business days for final approval.
Borough council will approve the 2009 budget at its January 5 regular session meeting.

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