Shippensburg Borough Council approves 2013 budgets
By AMBER SOUTH
Shippensburg Borough Council approved the 2013 budget Tuesday.
Unanimous voting, with five council members following the resignation recently of West Ward member Jon Baker, put in place a $2,754,805 general fund budget; $2,044,200 wastewater budget; $733,201 sanitation budget; $117,920 highway loan fund; $108,634 revolving loan fund; and a $500 business infrastructure development fund.
The general fund comes with a police budget that includes a $15,000 increase over 2012 to cover part-time patrolmen. The number was a compromise with a request from Police Chief Fred Scott for a $30,000 increase, which in an earlier version of the proposed budget brought the part-time patrol item to $60,000.
Scott thanked council for making financial accommodations and allowing the police department to pay for the staffing it needs.
“Council went out of its way to make sure I got 95 percent of what I wanted,” Scott said. “I appreciate it, my department appreciates it and also, I let my officers know and let you know that Shippensburg is not Mayberry any longer.”
Following interviews with the candidates prior to the council meeting, council approved the appointment of a number of board and committee members.
Council voted 4-1 to appoint Troy Pomeroy to Borough Authority. Steve Brenize cast the dissenting vote.
Pomeroy surpassed one other applicant, now-former Borough Authority member Jack Sease. Councilman Joe Hockersmith said he thought the authority needed a change.
“I sort of like the idea of a professional builder and plumber sitting on that board,” he said. “I thought both would be excellent but I’m sort of looking for a change there.”
Council unanimously voted to appoint Christopher Woltemade to the Zoning Hearing Board; Nathan Goates to the Enterprise Zone Committee; Ken Morgan and Nathan Goates to the Industrial Development Authority; John Fague to the Vacancy Board; and Josh Diehl to the Planning Commission.
After speaking of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting tragedy in Newtown, Conn., in an invocation at the start of the meeting, Councilman Joe Hockersmith urged council to stand up for gun control as representatives of the public and write a letter to state and national legislators.
“I think we need to encourage our congressmen and senators on the national level as well as state level to have a reasonable discussion on assault weapons and what is an assault weapon and what should be readily available,” he said.
“If we fail to at least try we’re not doing due diligence as local leaders.”
Hockersmith then agreed to President Andrea Lage’s request that he draft an initial letter for council to review.