Media Borough’s Financial State, and 3rd Street Dam: No comment
It’s been a while since I’ve posted and so I’ll try and do so more often, but short and concisely.
Media Borough Council had our regular legislative meeting last night, which was covered nicely by Media Patch, at least about the one topic of controversy.
What was not reported was some of the other important news for Media residents, which I’ll try to cover briefly here and in the coming week.
Media’s Financial State
One item I reported about in my agenda was that as chair of our Finance Committee, Media’s finances are in good shape. If you watch Media Borough Council meetings on YouTube, you’ll note that I’ve talked about this a few times this year. I do not take much credit for our financial shape quite yet, as last year’s budget was crafted by my predecessor, Finance Chair Peter Williamson and the finance committee, but I can take partial credit for the decisions made last year which averted some sticky financial issues. I also credit our Borough Manager Jeff Smith for his financial expertise and agility with the borough’s finances.
I’ll try and cover some of the planning that we’re taking on this year, but the main point I wanted to get across is that we have a surplus of approximately $400K from last year’s budget which will go into our Capital Reserve account. Now, this may seem a lot, but note that we have budgeted a withdrawal from this account for approximately $250K to help fund local projects such as the Library Expansion Project, and other capital improvement projects.
The good news is that unlike our neighboring communities, taxes remain stable (no tax increases) and we have a fair amount of money put aside for important infrastructure, and if the need arises, emergency projects. This year we will be looking into some major planning projects such as our storm water systems (North Olive Street residents will appreciate this, I hope), renovations to the garage, and general maintenance of our buildings and services which residents take for granted.
3rd Street Dam: No comment, one correction
There’s a lot of talk on the Republican Party’s blog about this, which obviously favors a certain spin on the issue. Suffice it to say that it’s no surprise how they are trying to twist the issues to their favor. Thankfully, Media Patch seems to get it right. Borough Council has chosen to adhere to Judge Proud’s orders and to not discuss the private deliberations between the two parties. To that end, I can’t comment on anything about the club’s litigation.
One correction, however, of some false assertions read elsewhere:
FALSE: Borough Council/Broomall’s Lake Country Club are slowing down the process of reconstructing the dam.
- Broomall’s Lake Country Club did not ask for an injunction which would halt moving forward with the dam project.
- Borough Council is currently waiting on revised contracts from our design professionals, expected later this month.
- At that point we will work with our design professionals to move forward with the detailed design, and the PA DEP regulations and process, unless instructed otherwise by Judge Proud.
- We have also worked hard last year to collect public input and put together our revised design.
Despite what anyone else has told you, government works slowly, and this is intentional. We meet once a month, openly, televised, and published on YouTube where we can make legally binding decisions. Try and do this in your own home where you decided one day a month on a legal decision or a financial purchase – you would take three or four months to sign up for insurance, or buy a car.
I would say that we have moved quickly last year to move this project forward: We created the CAC, held tens of public meetings for 5 months, and then made a decision. After three additional meetings, we made a decision on design. And then we moved forward with our designers while, in the meantime, dealing with the litigation from the club. It’s not a business where we work 40 hours a week on it, we meet for 4-5 hours per month to make decisions. Again, think about this, and think about making decisions for all 5000 residents of the borough, and trying to balance the various interests. Not easy, and I’m proud of what we accomplished last year.
Government is this way on purpose so that it’s transparent, and also so a dictator can’t just get in power and then change everything overnight. It takes a long time to make good decisions for a community, and that’s OK. I know our goal is to get the design ready as soon as possible for the 2015 construction date, or sooner if possible.