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New Hope Borough adopts $5.7 million preliminary budget


New Hope Borough Council adopted its proposed budget for 2023 with no tax increase at the December public meeting. The council also adopted an ordinance governing swimming pools and hot tubs, approved the new tax millage rates, and considered various other year-end projects.

The proposed 2023 budget sees an increase in both expenses and revenue, with each totaling $5.7 million. That’s an approximate increase of $1.07 million and $1.386 million from budgets in 2022 and 2021, respectively.

To compare the proposed budget to the borough’s year-to-date revenue and expenses, visit the borough’s website and locate the finance department page.

In the general fund, revenue items of interest include: an expected increase of about $60,000 in earned income tax; $115,000 increase in parking ordinance violations; and a $350,000 increase in parking meter revenue. Expense items of interest include: $120,000 increase in legal services; $110,000 increase in general government administration (due to salary increases and a $60,000 public outreach/communication fund); $180,000 increase in police department expenses; $60,000 increase in parks and recreation expenses; and a $500,000 transfer to the capital fund.

The borough capital fund’s proposed expenses are higher than revenue for 2023 – $2,530,900 versus $2,257,000 (an expected loss of $273,900). Compared to 2022, revenue is expected to increase (about $350,000) while expenditure is expected to decrease (about $118,000). In expenses, the largest items are related to the parking garage ($1,825,000) and various other borough projects, including the police department’s record management system ($80,000) and West Mechanic Street drainage ($55,000).

In revenue, the largest items are the RACP Grant (parking garage) for $1.75 million and a $500,000 transfer from the general fund.

In other news, council members heard from a development team at Bucks County Playhouse, who plan to repurpose an existing barn as a small theater and VIP lounge. They stressed that performances and events would only be held in one venue at a time. Borough council stayed neutral on the project, which received approval from HARB.

Council members adopted an ordinance amendment governing swimming pools and hot tubs within the borough. It regulates the location and required construction around a new pool or hot tub. The full ordinance can be found on the borough website.

Borough Council approved an agreement with the police union on a two-year contract as well as a resolution for a Pa. Small Water and Sewer Grant for the installation of stormwater infrastructure on West Mechanic Street.

Council members also appointed John Williams and Jay Freeo to HARB.

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New Hope Borough