Patriot CorrespondentTopton Borough Council voted to pass the proposed 2009 budget on Dec. 22, unanimously approving a .4-mill tax hike, bringing the 2008 mill rate of 5.0 to 5.4.

Officials have the budget set up so it is all in different funds, and not all of them are balanced (some have surpluses). The total projected revenue is $847,902. Utility rates will remain the same in the new year.The biggest unusual expenditure in this year's budget is a project to implement technological upgrades, required to meet Department of Environmental Protection mandates. Other projects for this year include replacing the municipal building's roof, planning for the borough parks, resurfacing roads and beginning a tree maintenance program. Sen. Michael O'Pake provided a $20,000 grant.

Council voters had these expenditures outlined for them in a budget message, prepared by Borough Manager Anthony Branco and financial officer Marcus Dolny.

"We aimed to clarify the information," Branco said. "It was all laid out in the budget message."

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