Mansfield Borough passes no-tax-hike budget

MANSFIELD – As expected, Mansfield Borough Council approved a $1.4 million 2014 budget with no tax increase. The real estate millage of 7.25 mills will remain the same as this year.

Jimmie Joe Carl, representing the municipal authority, presented a PowerPoint on the borough’s water supply and its efforts to get another well online during borough council’s Wednesday meeting.

Two reservoirs, Webster and Taylor, are the original water sources dating back to 1893, when the Watrous family started the Mansfield Water Co., Carl said.

The Taylor reservoir, though permitted, has been out of service since 1994, he added.

“Two wells are currently active water sources,” Carl said.

Between the two, 255,000 gallons of water per day are permitted, he added.

Two other wells pump tested fine, but when the authority applied for permitting for one of them, which is very close to the water treatment plant, “everything looked good, but then Susquehanna River Basin Commission saw it was a new water supply,” Carl said.

“We have two grandfathered water supplies that are not under their jurisdiction,” he said talking about Webster and Taylor, “but they can bring them in if you get a new water supply.”

“They could then exercise additional pass-by requirements, and put more restrictions on usage year round,” he said.

The authority then requested them to table any action on the permitting.

If the well is brought online, it wouldn’t add to any capacity, and it could have “pass-by” restrictions, limiting its use year round, especially during dry spells.

When asked about a timeline for permitting on the well, Carl said he couldn’t say.

Earlier in the fall, he and Cleveland met with Tom Beaudy, the assistant director of SRBC, during which they explained why the authority had asked for SRBC to table the permitting.

Carl said after that meeting, he thought it might be fairly soon, because according to Carl, Beaudy understood the reasoning for the request once it was explained to him.

“We have made working relationships with some of them, but they work on their own time frame,” Carl added.

In other business, council approved:

* The 2014 sewer rate ordinance.

* A fuel bid from Sheetz, of Altoona, for 10,000 gallons of 87.9 octane gasoline at $2.87 per gallon; and 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel at $3.14 per gallon. The only other bid was from Williams Oil Co., Towanda, for $3.45 per gallon of gasoline and $3.99 per gallon of diesel.

* 2014 TCCC delegates, director of finance and administration Lynette Hoyt, director of codes and public works Shawn Forrest and councilwoman Heather Morgan.

* Authorized bidding of the old dump truck for sale as is to be advertised in January and bids opened in February.

* The purchase of a 2014 Interceptor police cruiser, previously budgeted.

The council also discussed appointing someone to replace Bob Strong who retired from the planning commission.