Borough Budget

As former Gov. Rendell observed, "crafting a budget is the single most important thing that government does for its citizens. It’s the fundamental task of governing: setting priorities, making choices that are often difficult but necessary, and allocating resources...."

In 2023, Pottstown Borough anticipates spending more than $58 million for such services as police and fire protection, maintenance of streets and utility lines, and parks. Although the budget numbers change significantly from year to year, it's not necessarily because spending has gone up or down. For example, the budget jumped $12 million from 2015 to 2016 simply because two big ticket items -- the sewer capital fund and the water capital fund -- simply weren't reported in previous budgets. And the borough has millions of dollars in "reserves" that still aren't listed in the current budget. Money in some funds, like the water capital fund and the sewer capital fund, are often held over from year to year, so the budget makes it appear that the borough is spending more money than it actually is.

The borough has at least 20 different "funds" which are listed here. Money is routinely moved around from fund to fund, making year to year comparisons difficult if not impossible.

In 2016, the borough published a much more detailed budget, explaining the functions of each department and the number of employees. You can find it by clicking here. The explanations are still valid although the numbers have never been updated since 2016.

It is impossible for Pottstown Borough Council, or anyone else, to make wise decisions if it does not have a comprehensible budget. Unfortunately, we suspect, few Council members have a grasp of Pottstown's annual budget.