Some modest increases are contained in Seaford budget

By Lynn R. Parks

The city of Seaford's 2013 budget will be 10 percent smaller than it was for 2012. At the same time, property taxes will see a small increase, as will water and sewer fees.

The city council approved the $25 million budget at its Tuesday night meeting. Mayor Bill Bennett praised city manager Dolores Slatcher and the city staff for "tweaking and tweaking again" to make the numbers work out. The budget is balanced to the dollar. "Writing the budget was harder this year than in any other year," Bennett said.

Property taxes will go up 1 cent, from 29 cents per $100 of assessed value to 30 cents per $100. Water fees for residences will go up from $19.81 per month to $19.96 and sewer fees will go up from $37.21 per month to $40.21.

Even so, revenue from water and sewer charges is expected to decrease, by 19 percent for the water revenue and 30 percent for sewer revenues.

The city's 2012 budget, which totaled $28 million, included $2.579 that the city borrowed to pay for its storm water improvement project on Washington Avenue and in east Seaford.

Revenues from the city's sale of electricity are also expected to decline, by nearly 10 percent. Those declines are due to rate cuts that the city instituted in April for commercial and industrial customers, Slatcher said.

Expenditures will decline as well. Administration costs are down by 12 percent and costs for the code department by 11 percent. Expenditures for the city's recreation department are down by 12 percent, for the city pool by 28 percent and for city streets by 28 percent.

"I can tell you, this is a very austere budget," Slatcher said.

News tips wanted
Call us with ideas for news and features. We're always looking for good stories to share with readers. Call Bryant Richardson at 629-9788.