Mt. Oliver Borough passes General Budget with no tax increase
January 11, 2022
The Mt. Oliver Borough Council approved the 2022 Borough General Budget without comment at the December public meeting of the council. The council approved the budget by a 5-0 vote with councilmen Aaron Graham and Paul Doyle absent. The budget doesn't include a tax increase.
The borough's 2022 budget is $2,577,000, a decrease of nearly $375,000 from 2021 due to capital projects concluding including the new sidewalks and parking lots in the business district.
Spending on Public Safety will be reduced by $5,000 for 2022. Increases in wages will be offset by two vacant positions, a clerk and a part time position, that will remain unfilled from the prior year.
The Public Works budget will remain the same from 2021 at $140,000.
The Road Program for 2022 will see a decrease from $200,000 to $125,000. The decrease reflects cost sharing with utility companies on repaving this year, specifically Ormsby Avenue.
The biggest increase in spending will be in the area of Community or Economic Development going from $40,000 to $235,000. The budget item benefited from prior year tax revenue and collection increases. The increased allocation will help fund the borough newsletter, Main Street events and homeowner property stabilization efforts along with additional vacant property acquisitions.
Along the Main Street, new upgraded parking meter kiosks and streetscape furniture along Brownsville Road are also planned.
Under New Business, Councilman Nick Viglione wanted to talk about "people living out of their cars" in the borough. In one instance, he said a man had a disagreement with a family member and threatened with a gun. The man was thrown out of the house and had been living out of his car on the street.
Police Chief Matt Juzwick said it would have to be researched with the solicitor for the police to address the situation. He didn't believe the man was living out of the car, but was more often than not sleeping there.
Mr. Viglione added his wife saw the man get out of his car and urinate on the street. The chief said they would have to look into it, that people can't be using the street as a bathroom. As far as just sleeping in the car, he didn't think it was a crime.
During the Question and Answer period, a Stamm Avenue resident wanted to relate an "unsettling incident" she had with a clean up crew on the street.
She said the crew would place no-parking cones in sections of the street they would be working at the night before, but would move the cones at 7 a.m. the next morning and then tow cars from the area. She said there would be no cones for 100 feet on either side of the street the night before, but in the morning the cones had been moved and cars were being towed.
In her experience, the construction company woke her at 7 a.m. to move her car, after the cones had been moved. When she went to move her car, one of the workers was parked in her garage.
"I was appalled they would be parking on private property," she said.
After moving her car, she observed a worker direct someone else to park in the space they had just told her to move out of. When she complained to the police about having to move her car, only to have someone else directed to park there, she said the police were dismissive of her complaint.
To Council President Amber McGough's question about posting no parking signs, Chief Juzwick said they have been moving cones from one section of the street to another as they complete a section. He wasn't able to speak to the company moving cones in the morning after they had been placed the night before.
It was noted the construction has been halted until the spring of 2022.
Ms. McGough said they would be "having a conversation" with the construction company in the spring when they start work again and she would have been upset also if they had made her move her car only to have someone else park in the same space.
Before adjourning the meeting, Ms. McGough extended thanks to councilmen Dave Lowe and Francis Heckmann along with Mayor Frank Bernardini for their service to the borough. This was the trio's last meeting with new councilmembers and a new mayor coming in 2022.