The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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November 14, 2013

Police return complicates Windber budget

WINDBER — Windber is planning a "worst-case" cost outlook for its revamped police force.

But it won’t impact taxes next year, Borough Manager Fred Oliveros said.

The borough’s tentative $1.24 million budget for 2014 holds the line on taxes at 13.92 mills, Oliveros said.

After paying Paint Township for coverage for the past three years, the force's return is the biggest change to the latest spending plan.

With $467,892 budgeted for police costs, it’s an increase of about $100,000 compared with what the borough paid Paint Township this year. But Oliveros said the new figure is estimated on the high side because 2014’s police payroll and lease costs for the headquarters aren’t finalized.

“We’re still negotiating with the police union ... and we might have some relocation expenses that might carry over into 2014,” Oliveros explained.

“A lot of this is guesswork right now, but we’re running out of time. We have to have a budget in place soon.”

The borough may reopen the budget in early January if adjustments are necessary, Oliveros said.

The tentative budget, which is available at the office for review, would be on council’s Dec. 10 agenda, Oliveros said.

David Hurst covers Windber for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tddavidhurst.

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