Borough Council Starts Discussion on 2013 Operating Budget
State College Borough Council adjourned to a work session to discuss the 2013 Operational Budget after an hour-long regular meeting on Monday evening.
Council was not able to take any formal actions, such as voting on or making amendments to the budget, but it took time to consider some of the major sections of the budget.
Borough President Don Hahn said there were a few major sections – general fund revenues, capital fund improvements, budgetary policies and debt management.
Included in the capital fund improvements is filling in the sinkhole underneath State College Area School District's Memorial Field. The proposal for the Borough to vote on will be presented at the Dec. 3 regular meeting.
Currently, there are no changes in recommendations in budgetary policies in the 2013 budget. However, not included in the budget is the increased fines for alcohol-related offenses, Sen. Jake Corman's legislation that recently passed, and the student home rental fee, which did not become effective until after the budget was drafted.
Council needs some time to see how those fees will shake out before drawing them into the budget.
Further discussion and action on the 2013 budget will continue at a later meeting, and will be reviewed on Dec. 3-4.
During the regular meeting, State College Mayor Elizabeth Goreham said during the Mayor's Report that she recently attended the Pennsylvania Municipal League meeting, where a municipal pension reform proposal was discussed.
The proposal was created by the league and is being vetted by various groups, Goreham said, and it would replace one, if not more of the current municipal pension plans.
"Every member of the board expressed enthusiasm over coming to State College next June when we host the annual convention," Goreham said. "I told them their expectations would not be disappointed."
Council approved two changes to the vehicle and traffic ordinance. It first made a change to the parking regulations on Corl Street because a fire hydrant was placed in a new section of the street during reconstruction of the street. The posted sign regulations contradict Pennsylvania law, which forbids parking within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, according to the Borough. The amendment corrected the issue.
The next change was to the parking regulations on Fraser Street. After the street was realigned, a sign was posted that allowed loading and unloading in the travel lane during certain times, according to the Borough. The zone was designed for quick food deliveries but has been used by large tractor trailers whose deliveries are taking too much time.
During such deliveries, a safety hazard arises for pedestrians and vehicles. The new regulations will restrict all stopping, standing, loading and unloading from the travel lanes. Officials said there is adequate loading zone space on the College Avenue at the corner of Fraser Street to service the businesses in the area.
Council moved swiftly through its routine approvals, including accepting the resignation of long-time member of the Borough, Carol Gold, who is leaving the Board of Health to relocate across the country.
Council also approved a resolution for the destruction of records within the police department and approved the closing of South Allen Street from College Avenue to Calder Way from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Nov. 29 for the annual tree lighting ceremony sponsored by the Downtown Improvement District.