Montoursville Borough Council Tuesday night approved a $1.72 million preliminary budget for 2013 that holds the line on real estate taxes.
Under the plan, passed 4-2 by council, the borough would use $203,437 from the water budget to balance expenses and revenues.
Overall, the budget would be nearly $200,000 less than this year's plan.
The 2.3 millage rate remains the same as this year, but some borough officials made it clear they are unhappy with the proposed budget.
Mayor John Dorin took issue with transferring money from the water budget to the general fund.
He noted that in the past four years the borough has removed a total of about $1 million from water sales to annually balance spending plans.
"Do you want to raise taxes, John?" asked Council President Robert Brobson.
The mayor said he did not, while adding, "If we have to. We have to."
Brobson responded that the revenues for borough expenses have to come from somewhere.
"You can't have your cake and eat it, too," he said.
Brobson and the mayor argued back and forth about the issue with Brobson finally asking the mayor why he was waiting until now to speak out on the issue.
"I just want to make sure we are doing the right thing," Dorin said.
Brobson voted in favor of the budget along with Kim DiRocco, Eugene Boyles and Ronald Shearer.
Voting against the plan were Mark Tillson and Dennis Holt.
Holt said he could not vote in favor of a budget that will spend $211,000 for recreation and $456,000 for employees' health coverage.
He questioned why the borough pays 100 percent of workers' health care.
In other matters, council agreed to pursue the possibility of selling water to Lycoming County Water and Sewer Authority and Aqua America.
The authority is seeking to buy from 20,000 to 50,000 gallons a day from the borough; Aqua would purchase between 4,000 and 5,000 gallons a day.
Council agreed to explore the possibility of hiring a part-time police officer.
Police Chief Jeff Guyrina told council that two part-time police officers recently resigned.
On a related matter, council agreed to purchase a police car.
The car would replace an existing vehicle.
Dorin questioned why the police department needed five police cars.
He noted that the department employs just five full-time officers and five part-time officers.
"We should have a three-car rotation," Holt said.
The vote to buy the car was 4-2, with Holt and Tillson voting against and Brobson, DiRocco, Boyles, and Shearer voting in favor.
Council also voted to buy a dump truck with a snow plow.
Street and water Commissioner Ron Smith noted that two of the borough's four trucks are in need of replacement.
Council met in executive session following the meeting to discuss personnel matters.