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Narberth Council passes budget, bids farewell to two members

The Narberth Council unanimously approved the 2012 budget, which includes a tax increase, and honored departing Council President Mary Jo Daley and Councilwoman Nancy Lotz.

It was a milestone for Narberth Council at the Wednesday, Dec 28 meeting, and not just because the council voted on the budget.

After approving the 2012 budget, which includes a tax increase for residents, and other resolutions, the council also said goodbye to two longtime council members – President Mary Jo Daley and Councilwoman Nancy Lotz.

Lotz has been on council since 2000, and served on the building and zoning committee, property committee, finance committee, economic development committee, highway committee and health and welfare committee.

"It's been an honor to serve the borough…the last 12 years my time has been taken up by the council, and I've been really proud of the work the council has done in overseeing the borough," Lotz said. "It provides wonderful services for the community and I hope you'll be able to continue that and expand it in certain situations."

Daley, who's been on Borough Council for 20 years and has been council president since 2002, as well as a member on numerous committees, said it was a pleasure being on the council and as president, and she thanked her peers for "not throwing her out of meetings," even when they may have wanted to.

"It's been an absolutely incredible experience to be a member of this council for the past 20 years and serve as president the past 10 years," Daley said. "I wish to all of you that if you don't have years due to your own choice, that at least you have a great experience [on this council]."

To conclude the meeting, the Borough Council, Township Manager Bill Martin and Mayor Tom Grady handed them gold plaque clocks in honor of their service.

Budget details

First the good news: Rental revenue from the former Narberth School building at 201 Sabine Ave. increased from $180,000 to $200,000 in 2011, which could increase 2012 estimated revenues by $20,000.

This revenue aside, Narberth residents are looking at a tax increase in the 2012 budget.

When the 2012 preliminary budget was released, Martin thought there would've been a slight tax decrease as a result of an increase in Narberth's total real estate assessment.

The retiring of Lt. Arthur Pavoni this fall resulted in an expense, which led to new millage from 8.775 in 2011 to 9.067 for 2012.

Councilman Surge Ghosh explained that Pavoni's one-time pension payment, $122,000, was not previously accounted for in the preliminary budget.

This will mean an extra $44 on the average municipal tax bill for 2012, as well as an increase of 2012 expenses up to about $4.5 million.

Another reason for the expense was the $70,000 emergency repair the borough had to pay for the Narberth Avenue bridge. Water main repairs, between Wynnewood and Montgomery avenues, also contributed to expenses.

Other agenda items approved

An ordinance to compute the fixed the total amount of the annual sewer rental for the year 2012 and determine the amount to be charged for each connected property to the borough's sewers was approved, as was an ordinance to change section eight of ordinance 693 to reflect the total amount of annual sewer rental for the 2011, and the calculations involved.

The council also approved an ordinance to reflect total expense of collecting and disposing of garbage and other waste materials for 2012.

The council also approved appointments to boards and commissions. Aside from an error, which listed Brad Morley as Library Board, the appointments are as follows:

Zoning Hearing Board for a three-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2014 – Mike Johnson

Civil Service Commission for a six-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2017 – Robert Gage

Police Pension Fund for a six-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2016 – Nicholas Wilkin

Shade Tree Commission for a five-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2016 – Robert Spinelli

Planning Commission for a four-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2015 – David Brawer and James Cornwell

Recreation Board for a five-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2016 – Theresa Grady

Plumbing Inspector for a two-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2013 – Michael Stuart

Vacancy Board for a one-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2012 – James Cornwell

The Council meets again Jan. 4, when incumbent Sam Quinn and newcomers Michael Alexander and Bob Weisbord are sworn on.