Marlinton Town Council conducted a special meeting on March 16 to consider and act on the town budget for fiscal year 2015-2016. The $1.1 million budget was approved with no debate by a 4-0 vote. Councilmembers David Zorn and Louise Barnisky were not present.
The budget reflects an unencumbered carryover balance of $501,903. The top three revenue items for the town are refuse collection ($169,681); property taxes ($140,069); and sales tax ($98,806). The top three expenditure items in the budget are garbage department ($249,464); city hall ($196,329); and streets and maintenance ($153,308).
“It’s pretty cut and dry,” said Mayor Joe Smith. “We added $5,000 to the Fire Department as a donation. That’s not necessarily saying we’re going to give that to them, but it’s in the budget for that. We upped the hospital to $1,000 as a direct line donation, and $35,000 for Main Street improvements, which doesn’t mean we will spend any of that. Those were the big changes to what we did in previous years.”
The full budget will be published in next week’s edition of The Pocahontas Times and submitted to the State Auditor for approval.
Smith reported that the Public Service Commission had approved a town water rate increase. The increase is necessary to obtain funds for engineering services for an upgraded town water system. The current bi-monthly rate for up to 4,000 gallons is $51.72. The rate will increase to $60 in the next billing cycle, making Marlinton the third-most expensive municipal water utility in the state.
In other business, Council approved a resolution appointing Smith and Town Treasurer Star Barlow as signatories for a Certificate of Deposit containing funds for perpetual care at Mountain View Cemetery, and took no action on a donation to Allegheny Mountain Radio.
The next regular meeting of the Marlinton Town Council is scheduled for April 6 at 7 p.m.