WELLSBORO - The Tioga County commissioners adopted the 2013 $19.6 million general fund budget without a tax hike and without a cost of living increase for retirees Tuesday.
It was the first time in at least three years that there was no cost of living increase for retirees.
Also approved were the retirement budget of $$44.9 million, the liquid fuels budget of $876,000, and the human services budget of $15.7 million.
The real property tax rate for 2013 will remain at 6.75 mills.
Commissioners also approved changing the way tax collectors are paid beginning in 2014, when they will be compensated $2.25 per bill collected, and $2.25 for interim tax bill collected to take effect Jan. 1, 2014 affecting 39 tax collectors.
Before this tax collectors were paid on the percentage of taxes collected depending on the amount collected.
Some tax collectors in attendance wanted to know if the county had thought about what it would do if there were no more tax collectors.
Commissioner Roger Bunn said "it is not this board's intent to do away with tax collectors. The intent is to get it done as efficiently as possible and be fiscally responsible."
In other business the board approved an extension for elderly property owners to make payment of delinquent real estate taxes. The extension applies to homeowners age 65 or older, and is based on an annual household income of no more than $35,000. The new program will take effect Jan. 1, 2013.
Announced their reorganizational meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Jan. 7 at the courthouse, and their first regular meeting of the New Year will be held at 10 a.m. Jan. 15, also at the courthouse.
Opened and tabled two bids for the community services road project; from Austin Construction Co., Campbell, N.Y. in the amount of $22,837, and from Gra-Hil Construction, Wellsboro, in the amount of $22,347.
Approved two Local Economic Revitalization Tax Abatements, one for Cleveland Brothers for a new garage and one for the Wellsboro Hotel Co. for expansion of the Penn Wells Lodge.
Approved using Act 13 natural gas impact fee money for two projects for the Wellsboro-Johnston Airport, $90,000 for an automated weather observation system, and $23,000 for conversion of the airport fuel tank to dispense jet fuel.
Approved a contract with Richard W. McCoy to serve as attorney at $85 an hour for the Domestic Relations Office from Dec. 1, 2012 through Sept. 30, 2015, as required by law.
Approved certification for authorized use of 911 funds under the Emergency Telephone Service, Chapter 53, which authorizes Emergency Services Director David Cohick to apply for and get funding for the county's use.
Approved a supplemental engineering Agreement with Larson Design Group for county bridge number 4 the Knox Bridge, Knoxville, in the amount of $498,387 to further expand the bridge for use by heavier vehicles.
Approved an emergency repair agreement with Simplex-Grinnell for a control panel board replacement for $2,746.
As the Salary Board, the commissioners approved a request to create three positions in community services, Department of Human Services, under the new pilot program, Effective Safe Parenting Program, funded through the state human services block grant including a full time licensed practical nurse at $15.35 per hour with benefits; a full time caseworker at $11.44 per hour with benefits and a homemaker at $9.93 per hour with benefits.