With only two weeks left until they vote on the 2013 budget, the State College borough council held another work session last night where they discussed increasing administration costs.
Borough manager Tom Fountaine said there would be an increase in the administration part of the budget due to staffing increases and employee benefit costs.
The administration section of the budget covers the salaries and benefits for the mayor, borough manager, assistant borough manager, and the administrative and secretarial staff, according to the council agenda.
Fountaine said there has been a strain in terms of staff commitments and said vacancies have occurred in most of the jobs.
He said Mayor Elizabeth Goreham submitted a request for increased administration money in the staff and said someone would fill a position to provide the mayor with support.
Goreham said she thought having a dedicated staff assistant would be a benefit to the borough.
She said she would like to have a person who she could work with and communicate with and said it would make things smoother all around.
“In light of recent events, I think it’s sort of important that the administration be fully staffed and be able to respond to unexpected events,” said president of the council Don Hahn.
Council member Jim Rosenberger said he also noticed a 12 percent increase in the benefits part of the administration budget.
Fountaine said this was due to a majority increase in health care and an increase in pensions.
The borough also discussed withdrawing from some regional programs, but said there are many programs the borough needs to continue to participate in.
Council member Ron Filippelli said this was a difficult problem to face and said there would be many implications.
“There is the question of regional cooperation,” Filippelli said. “We’d be the first municipality to withdraw from a major COG program.”
However, Hahn said he did not endorse this, but said council would have a lot to think about in the next couple weeks.