CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a balanced preliminary budget without a tax increase for the upcoming fiscal year.
The general fund budget projects revenues and expenditures totaling $22,920,138 while the overall budget projects revenues and expenditures totaling $35,927,443.
Commissioners Tony Scotto, board chairman, and Dave Glass said the county was fortunately in a position that it didn’t have to raise taxes.
“None of us wanted to do that in the middle of this [COVID-19] pandemic,” Glass said. “We would have gone the extra mile to make sure that didn’t happen.”
Scotto said current-year property tax revenues came in close to budgeted projections, but he did admit uncertainty surrounded the upcoming fiscal year.
“We just don’t know with the pandemic and what mitigation efforts might be brought forth,” Scotto said. “We just don’t know … hopefully, there won’t be a severe impact on us.”
Additionally, Glass noted that the county was able to extend five collective bargaining agreements for one year, all of which were “flat funded” with a $500 bonus.
“That will allow us to get a snapshot to look at next year,” he said, “and see how much better or worse it will be before we get into a long-term situation.”
Commissioner John A. Sobel reminded this was just the beginning of the budget process, and he believed the county would be able to “whittle down” expenses some more in the coming weeks.
Glass said the county used a small amount of its fund balance to balance the budget, but it’s his hope it won’t have to when the final budget is ready for approval.
The budget will now be available for public inspection for the next 20 days at the commissioners’ office and on the Clearfield County Government Web site. The commissioners will adopt the final budget Dec. 22.
Also, on Tuesday, the commissioners awarded the final Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act grants to six small businesses, five non-profit organizations and four municipalities.
Grant awards to small businesses included: Bouquets by Jill, $5,000; D Quigley Properties, $20,000; Dawn McDowell Beauty Salon, $866; Our Town Boutique, $4,163; Susie’s Fashions, $627; and Witherow Custom, $10,000.
Grant awards to non-profits included: Bucktail Council, Boy Scouts of America, $20,000; Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging Inc., $12,884; DuBois Soccer Association Inc., $20,000; North Point Volunteer Fire Co., $10,000; and Pleasant Hill Community Center, $118.
Grant awards to municipalities included: Curwensville Borough, $26,877.20; Bigler Township, $5,851.80; Huston Township, $950.08; and Pike Township, $581.81. It was noted that Curwensville Borough and Bigler Township received more funds because both municipalities operate police departments.