New Castle News

Local News

November 28, 2012

No tax increase anticipated in county’s 2013 budget

NEW CASTLE — Lawrence County’s proposed budget for 2013 shows no tax increase and 3 percent pay raises for county employees.

Tuesday, the county commissioners introduced a proposed spending plan of $93,060,686.

That is 2.64 percent — about $2.4 million — greater than the current year’s budget and utilizes all the county’s surplus funds. It will be available for public inspection for 20 days at the commissioners office at the courthouse and on the county’s website:

The proposal leaves the county property tax at 6.263 mills. This is 5.789 mills for general operations, generating about $19.2 million; 0.3645 for debt service, generating approximately $1.2 million; and 0.11 for the Federated Library system, expected to produce $364,132.

The last tax increase was in 2010.

The commissioners plan to adopt the budget on Dec. 18 at their final scheduled meeting of the year.

County controller David Gettings, who participated in assembling the budget, said four categories — general fund, mental health, children and youth, and health services — make up about 80 percent.

Gettings noted labor contracts for the AFSCME and Local 964 unions expire Dec. 31, 2013.

County officials have a concern about the $800,000 in revenues for the county jail, Gettings said. The county anticipates receiving this for continuing to house 50 state inmates at the local jail for the rate of $50 per day.

The state, which ran out of jail cells several years ago, contracted with counties and other states to house prisoners, he explained.

Now, because of changes in sentencing guidelines and in the penal and parole systems, the state is recalling prisoners.

Gettings anticipates the county’s contract will be secure because the local rate is among the lowest in the state.

The county budgets $6 million per year to operate the jail.

County administrator James Gagliano noted county property tax revenues remain stagnant, but the county was able to realize some savings by restructuring bonds, taking advantage of lower interest rates.

Commissioner chairman Dan Vogler said the county anticipates ending the year in the black and carrying over about $200,000 from the current year’s budget to 2013.

“Only a few years ago, we had to shut down the courthouse for two weeks when we ran out of money.”

He commended county department heads for keeping an eye on spending over the past year.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • wampum_gazebo.jpg Wampum Homecoming draws near

    The 22nd annual Wampum Homecoming Weekend is scheduled for this weekend. It is sponsored by the Wampum Area Business Association.


    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg City imposing new regulations for vendors

    The city of New Castle is tightening regulations and imposing new ones for mobile food and transient vendors.


    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • money.jpg New recreation fees adopted

    New Castle City Council has adopted a new fee schedule for Cascade and Darlington parks. The new schedule runs from 2014 through 2016.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • HolidayInn.jpg Union Township getting another hotel

    Union Township is getting a Holiday Inn Express. John McClure, owner of McClure Realty, said he had closed a transaction Thursday on 3.8 acres on West State Street for the venture, a couple hundred yards west of the Hampton Inn.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • audit.jpg Shenango pension fund audit due ‘this summer’

    The audit report of the Shenango Township pension funds are expected to be released this summer.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • HIShands.jpg Local youths team up with His Hands Ministries to do home repair for those who can’t afford it

    Area youth from various Lawrence County churches started lending a helping hand Wednesday to residents in need. The annual Lawrence County Youth Ministries service event brings together students and adults for three days of volunteering. It is part of His Hands Ministries, an initiative involving local churches and volunteers who split into work groups to perform  home improvement tasks for elderly and low-income homeowners in the community.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Blight.jpg Funds would target Lower East Side demolition

    The Lawrence County planning department and New Castle officials are partnering to wipe out neighborhood blight. They plan to start with the city’s Lower East Side.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • movietheater.jpg Overcoming addiction theme of movie

    The movie, “Anonymous People” will be shown at 7:30 p.m. July 30 at Westgate Cinemas.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • BalloonQuest.jpg Balloon Quest ready to soar again this weekend

    The Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest will mark its 25th anniversary this weekend at Union Township’s Scotland Meadows Park.


    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boatlaunch.jpg County pursuing funds for more boat launches

    Lawrence County planners are pursuing funds to complete more boat launches. At their meeting last week, the county commissioners agreed to apply for $74,000 from the Commonwealth Finance Authority, through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, for the matching funds.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo