Preparing to finalize its 2013 budget, the State College Borough Council met Monday night and will meet again at 6:30 tonight at at the municipal building, 243 S. Allen St., to continue financial discussions.
Council member Jim Rosenberger said the proposed budget does not have a required tax increase.
“That’s a good sign in these difficult economic signs,” Rosenberger said.
He also said the borough may refinance some of its bonds at lower interest rates. This would allow the borough to borrow money at smaller rates and roll over some of the debt from past expansions — such as new parking garages and the borough building.
Rosenberger said the Homestead Investment Plan, a $5 million proposal to make it possible for people to buy houses in the borough that would be owner-occupied, would also warrant more discussion.
He said it would prevent the neighborhoods around campus from becoming just student rentals, and said it was an important item in the budget.
Peter Morris, another council member, said the budget meeting last night went smoothly and said there weren’t many questions.
“It’s a long process though, and some issue may come up in a later meeting,” Morris said. “It seems like a pretty good budget.”
He said the council would be discussing the public works section of the budget tonight.
Morris said police services are the biggest section of the budget, but said they would not be discussing that until next month.
“It’s the largest chunk of money in the budget, so it tends to take the most time,” he said. “It’s possible that we’ll talk about raising the number of policemen. It used to be 65 and I believe now it’s 63.”
However, Morris said the council would have to speak with the police chief to see whether he needed more officers or not.
Council president Don Hahn called Monday night’s meeting "uneventful," and said they had discussed general policies and debt service.
He said because the council was discussing it in work sessions, it was typically just questions and comments.
“Usually these things don’t turn into debates until the voting meeting,” Hahn said.