Council Rock to hold community budget forum
The Council Rock School District will hold a community budget forum on April 13 at 7 p.m. in the Chancellor Center, 30 N. Chancellor St. in Newtown. Community members are invited to attend the forum to learn more about the budget deficit the school district is facing and offer input. Recently, Council Rock administrators proposed a staff reduction of 67 people in order to lower a $14.2 million deficit – 45 teaching positions, 19 support staff and three administrative positions. Other cuts include reductions to supplies, professional development, facilities and maintenance, curriculum services and extra-curricular activities. The proposed cuts trimmed about $11.2 million from the budget gap. The school board will consider a preliminary budget in late April, with the final budget being approved in June. Please visit the Council Rock School district website and click the CR finances tab for more budget information.
Source: Bucks County Courier Times; 3/24/2011 & The Advance; 4/8/2011
Stocking Works II plan in Newtown swaps office space for condos
A new sketch plan for the Stocking Works II project in Newtown was recently presented to the Newtown planning commission. The original sketch plan called for 100,000 square feet of office space, 55,000 square feet of retail space and 150 condominiums. The new plan for redevelopment would transform the property into a new urban public shopping and living area with distinctive architecture, a multi-level public parking garage, outdoor public spaces and a walkway along Newtown Creek. The updated design is in keeping with Newtown’s comprehensive plan which calls for sufficient downtown parking and preservation of a green infrastructure. The plans call for buildings with green roofs, two public piazzas, a creek trail and small outdoor amphitheatre. The planning commission encouraged the developer to present a more formalized plan at a future meeting.
Source: The Advance; 4/7/2011
Bristol Borough School District faces $2 million deficit
Bristol Borough School District officials learned that the proposed budget cuts presented by Gov. Tom Corbett could double the district’s anticipated deficit to $2 million. The school district ranks fifth among 25 area districts in terms of state revenue that could be lost due to the proposed budget reductions. Business Administrator Joseph Roe told administrators that the cuts amounted to $689 less per student for the 1,300 students in the district. Without any budget reductions or alternate revenue source, the school district would have to increase taxes by an extra $447 per average home within the school district. However, the district is limited by the Act 1 index to a tax increase of 1.8 percent, plus requested exceptions without a voter referendum. The district is seeking $1.75 million in Act 1 exceptions. The district must now assess all programs and services in order to present a balanced budget for passage in June.
Source: Bucks County Courier Times; 4/8/2011
Newtown Artesian Water Company files for rate hikes
The Newtown Artesian Water Company (NAWC) has filed a request with the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission to increase water rates by close to 25 percent in May and another 6 percent next January. The NAWC says that the bulk of the increase is due to the Philadelphia Water Authority raising the cost of water purchased by the Bucks County Water and Sewer Authority (BCWSA) which is supplied to NAWC. The NAWC is continuing efforts to locate lower cost well water opportunities to partially replace water from BCWSA and has also entered into an agreement to purchase water from the Pennsylvania American Water Company at a lower rate. Residential customers can expect to see a quarterly bill increase from $5 to $15 depending upon your location in the system. Click here to visit the NAWC website.
Source: Bucks County Courier Times; 4/7/2011
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