West York residents would not see a tax increase, and borough employees are expected to be safe from being laid off, a councilman said as the council passed the 2014 preliminary budget Monday.

The tax rate is expected to remain at 6.5 mills, said Councilman Shane Louthian.

"Leaving some money for the good, it (the budget) doesn't include (a tax increase), nor does it include any layoffs," he said.

To balance the nearly $3.5 million budget, just over $400,000 will be directed to the general fund from the sewer fund, said Kathy Altland, borough manager.

Councilman Brain Wilson said he's not in favor of taking money from the sewer fund to cover the budget.

"We're hurting ourselves in the long run," he said. "Why do we continue to steal from the sewer fund?"

Enough money: However, Steven Herman, council president, said the $3 million in the sewer fund more that covers the $2 million that's recommended to be maintained in the fund to cover a catastrophic event.

The largest line item in the budget is earmarked for public safety. That tally stands at $1.5 million.

Wilson also asked if there's enough money to hire an additional police officer for the borough police department to alleviate overtime.

"I'm concerned about a tired police officer," he said.

Louthian said overtime costs account for 10 percent of the amount budgeted for public safety.

"Ten percent is really not that bad," he said, adding that if overtime climbed to 15 to 20 percent, that would be a bad scenario.


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Anticipated in the budget is a roughly $600 surplus.

Pay: Councilwoman Annette "Chickie" Christine urged fellow council members to consider giving employees a raise.

In 2012, administrative and highway department employees agreed to a 4 percent pay cut, but an additional 6 percent cut was tacked into that budget, bringing the total cut to each employee's pay to 10 percent.

The cuts saved the borough roughly $24,000, and pay hasn't been restored since.

"In fairness to the employees, we have to take a second look and give those employees a raise," Christine said.

Louthian and Herman, along with council members Tim Berkheimer and Nancy Laird voted for the budget while Wilson, Christine and Shelley Metzler voted against.

The preliminary budget will be on display at the borough building, 1700 W. Philadelphia St. A vote on the final budget is expected in December.

- Reach Greg Gross at ggross@yorkdispatch.com.