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W.O. Council Votes Down 2022 Budget

Council says no to spending plan, new members take office in January

By Sarah Turnbull
The Tube City Almanac
December 30, 2021
Posted in: White Oak News

CORRECTION: This article incorrectly reported the vote at Monday’s meeting. It has been corrected.

The borough of White Oak failed to pass its 2022 budget at Monday’s special council meeting.

Council members Julie Opferman, Charles Davis and Louis Bender voted yes. Council members George Dillinger, Joe Nagy, George Pambacas and Ken Robb voted no.

Pambacas expressed concern that although the spending plan was balanced, it would cut into the borough’s fund balance, or surplus.

Dillinger concurred, saying that balancing the budget would require withdrawing $443,000 from the approximately $700,000 fund balance.

Robb expressed concerns that the proposed budget was, in his opinion, “underestimating the costs to the borough, and overestimating the amount of revenue.”

The proposed 2022 budget would have established the property tax rate at 0.80 mills on each $100 of assessed evaluation, with no increase from last year.

Borough manager John Palyo said the budget must now be voted on by the newly elected council members in the New Year.

“Since it’s a reorganization year, the new council can vote to reopen the budget,” Palyo said. “We need to advertise it for 10 days beforehand, so it would probably be adopted in January.”

Until a budget is passed, the borough will be unable to make major purchases, officials said. Utilities and payroll will not be affected.

The council swearing-in ceremony and reorganization meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 3 at the borough building. Members of the public are welcome.

Sarah Turnbull is a freelance writer in Irwin. She can be reached at sarahturnbull323@gmail.com.

Originally published December 30, 2021.

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