Thursday, July 24, 2014

Exeter Council warned debt could exceed $400,000

Big jump in health care costs among factors officials must plan for, expert says.

May 08. 2013 11:54PM
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EXETER — Joseph Boyle of the Pennsylvania Economic League told Borough Council on Tuesday that lagging revenues and rising expenditures going forward could cause the borough’s debt to exceed $400,000.

The organization of financial advisers, experts and consultants was contracted by the borough earlier in 2013 to evaluate the last five years of economic activity and provide analysis and suggestions on economic efficiency going forward.

According to the report, from 2008 through 2012, Exeter’s revenues have increased by 3 percent while the expenditures have grown by 16 percent.

If this trend were to hypothetically continue without action from the borough, the report states, the league estimates the borough’s general fund could end up roughly $420,000 in the red.

League representatives said the projections are hypothetical and inexact but can serve as a guideline for future planning. They acknowledged that there are potential inaccuracies.

One inaccuracy identified involved employee health insurance. Exeter is projected to pay $125,796 to Blue Cross/Blue Shield in 2013. The league anticipated annual growth in the area of 6 percent to 8 percent. Borough Treasurer and Secretary Debra Serbin had anticipated 9 percent increases, but the borough was informed Tuesday that the increase for 2014 will actually be 22 percent.

PEL representatives said they would factor the increase into the final report that is anticipated “in the near future,” according to Boyle.

In other matters, Councilman John Morgan apologized to residents who have not yet had their recycling collected and acknowledged staffing shortages this week. He assured residents all recycling will definitely be collected, but that yard waste will not be picked up this Friday.

The council also announced council work sessions will be at 6 p.m., immediately before regular monthly meetings on the first Tuesday of each month for June, July and August.

The next regular council meeting will be June 4, immediately after the 6 p.m. work session.

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