Altoona Sees Surplus

By Christian Heilman

Published 07/10 2014 04:56PM

Updated 07/10 2014 06:41PM

ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY --  A.C. Stickel says Altoona's surplus is like what everyone goes through at home.
A. C. Stickel, City Controller, said, “In your home budget, you collect a paycheck, you pay your bills, if you have a little left over you keep it because there are bills that are going to be coming up next year.”
Altoona is an Act 47 city, which means it's financially distressed. That act required the city to raise the earned income tax rate that led to this small surplus. It’s a surplus Stickel said is a drop in the bucket compared to the 30 million annual budget.
 “Even under Act 47, projections are that we'll need every cent of it in the next few years,” said Stickel.
Even though the money will be spent slowly over the next year or two, some people think it's a step in the right direction.
Trisha Gates, who works in Altoona, said “It's not as attractive, but you know what they say? Every penny counts, and $400,000 is just under half a million, and that's still money that can be used for good. It's a plus. It's a win.”
Stickel said, “It's always better to make more than you spend so I'm not going to say it's a bad thing, but I'm not ready to fly to Vegas yet.”
The controller also said the city has a lot in pension obligations they pay each year, but that this surplus isn't enough to touch it.

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