JEFFERSON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Ridgway Borough Council has approved a tentative budget for 2021 that includes increases to taxes and water rates.
Borough Manager Paul McCurdy said the tax increase of 1 mill equals would bring in $50,000 more in revenue. For the average homeowner, it means $20 – $40 more in property taxes each year.
It does not completely close the gap between revenues and expenses, estimated to be about $250,000 this year, but along with cash reserves, it will allow the borough to address the shortfall incrementally as opposed to a large tax increase this year.
Increases in healthcare costs and the addition of a full-time police officer, so there can be two officers on-duty at all times, are two of the recent cost increases to the borough of about 3,700 people.
The water rate increase won’t likely come until April and it will not be known how much more water customers will pay until a rate study that is now underway is completed. McCurdy said a rough estimate would be about $1 more per 1,000 gallons of water used.
He said the increase will go to pay off a $500,000 loan that was needed to complete the replacement of the main water lines coming into town as well as make up for a decrease in revenue due to less water consumption, something he said has been the trend for several years.
The council voted 5 – 2 to approve the tentative budget with a final vote expected on Dec. 21.