Honesdale drafts budget for 2022

By OWEN WALSH
Posted 11/23/21

HONESDALE, PA — Honesdale Borough’s finance committee has released an initial draft of the 2022 budget. With a New Year’s Eve deadline to officially adopt the budget, any number of …

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Honesdale drafts budget for 2022

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HONESDALE, PA — Honesdale Borough’s finance committee has released an initial draft of the 2022 budget. With a New Year’s Eve deadline to officially adopt the budget, any number of figures are still liable to change. In its current form, the borough’s expenditures total revenue balanced out at about $5,800,000.

Budget highlights

For the second year in a row, the draft budget proposes no tax increase for residents. Honesdale struggled for years to maintain a balanced budget without noteworthy tax hikes. Between 2014 and 2019, property taxes jumped by nearly 45 percent. In recent budgets including this one, the finance committee has found other ways to pay for its projects and expenses without increasing the current tax rate of 8.65 mills.

Despite its reputation as a modest police force, the Honesdale Police Department actually accounts for a significant chunk of the borough’s yearly expenses. The current budget foresees spending a total of $615,384 on the police department in the coming year. That’s around 14 percent of total spending overall. The hiring of two new officers will cost more than $42,000 a cop, not including civil service costs involved in the hiring process and other expenses like uniforms (which cost $1,000 each).

The borough has also allocated money separately for the replacement of three Honesdale Police Department squad cars. It is a $180,000 capital project overall, and the borough expects to spend $75,000 on that project this year.

Looking at other capital projects, the borough has slated $4,475 on administrative costs, $2,000 for computer replacements and $2,475 for filing cabinets. With a handful of repairs and renovations to borough property, the borough plans to spend more than $100,000 on buildings. Continuing its relationship with the Greater Honesdale Partnership to secure grant funding, the borough set aside $15,000 for grant matching, though as discussed at the last council meeting, this designation may be changed to GHP “operating budget.”

And with plans for developing a holistic approach to managing the downtown area’s issues with stormwater runoff and severe flooding, the draft budget slated $58,500 for stormwater and flood control.

The draft can be found on the borough website, https://www.honesdaleborough.com, by clicking the “Departments and Services” tab, followed by the “Finance Committee” and “Budget” tabs. This story will be updated as the council hears public comment on, makes changes to, and eventually enacts a finalized 2022 budget.

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