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About Middletown - General Information


Photo: Middletown Borough Hall. Built in 1936.

The Borough of Middletown maintains a staff of over 65 full and part time employees to serve the community.  Most borough operations are conducted through offices located at 60 West Emaus Street.  This staff is dedicated to serving your needs. Use the links below to learn more.

Middletown is a full service municipality. It is Borough established under the Borough Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is situated in Dauphin County, approximately eight miles south of Harrisburg, the state capital.

According the PA Department of Community and Economic Development, Boroughs are the second most common form of municipal government in Pennsylvania, their number exceeded only by the number of second class townships. The 962 boroughs represent 37.5% of all general-purpose municipal governments in Pennsylvania. There is an average of 15 boroughs per county.

The largest boroughs are State College - 38,923, Bethel Park - 33,823, Norristown- 30,749, Monroeville - 29,169 and Plum - 25,609. Sixteen boroughs have populations under 100. The smallest are S.N.P.J. (Lawrence County) – 12; New Morgan (Berks) – 16; Valley-Hi (Fulton) – 19; Green Hills (Washington) – 21; and Seven Springs (Somerset) - 22. Middletown has a population of just under 10,000 according to the 2000 census.

Middletown operates under the Council-Manager form of government. The Chief Executive Officer of the Borough is the Borough Manager, appointed by and serving at the pleasure of a majority of the Borough Council. The Borough Council, currently nine members, are elected by Wards for four year terms. The Council serves as the legislative and quasi-judicial branches of local government. Their mission is preserve the fiscal security of the Borough and set long term objectives and goals for staff. They also engage in all manner of community planning.

As for the Borough's financial operation, Middletown operates separate accounts, or funds, for different parts of our municipal operations. For example, the Electric Department is run through a separate fund called the Electric Operating Fund. The Utility Maintenance/Operations Department is run through a separate fund called the Water and Sewer Operating Fund. The main fund of the Borough is called the General Fund and operations such as Administration, Finance, Police, Code Enforcement, Communications, and Highway/Property Maintenance are run through that fund.

Middletown also has a series of fiduciary or trust accounts. The most important is the Electric Trust Fund. This money, often referred to as the electric settlement money, is the proceeds from the resolution of litigation between Middletown and Metropolitan Edison over a wholesale electric contract dispute. The proceeds are maintained in a separate account and a formula, developed by the Borough’s auditors, allows some of the money to be transferred each year to the Electric Operating Fund in order to keep our electric rates lower. Because this money will someday run out and electric rates will necessarily rise, Borough Council implemented a Purchase Price Cost Adjustment (PPCA) method to determine rates for electricity consumers. The PPCA floats as it adjusts to the wholesale cost of electricity. This method has worked exceptionally well; in 2007 no transfer from the Electric Trust Fund was required.

The Borough also levies a Fire Tax which is used to help the Middletown Volunteer Fire Department pay its bills. This money is kept in the Fire Operating Fund but does not represent all the funds available to run the all-volunteer Fire Department. As a result, the Fire Department has two budgets: the budget paid through the Borough and the budget not paid through the Borough. The volunteer Chiefs try to manage the increasingly difficult tasks of staffing and training the Department, maintaining and certifying the apparatus, and balancing the Department’s fiscal needs.

The annual budget is prepared by staff using a time-consuming process that takes several months. It is the responsibility of the Borough Manager to present a balanced budget for Borough Council’s review by November. It then becomes the responsibility of Borough Council to accept the Borough Manager’s proposed budget or to amend it before its necessary advertisement and adoption in December.

The adopted budget is the single most import action of the Borough Council each year. It sets out the funding for the Borough and the plan as to how to spend that money. The budget is, in fact, a plan and not an accounting of actual revenues and expenditures. To find out how the year actually went, one needs to review the audit. The audit is issued several months into the next financial year.

Middletown’s workforce is mostly represented in collective bargaining by unions. The non-uniform personnel are represented by Teamsters Local #776. This includes personnel in the Highway/Property Department, the Utility Maintenance/Operations Department, the Electric Department, the Library, Finance, and Administration. Uniform members of the Borough’s Police Department are represented by the Middletown Police Association.

Middletown services include a wide variety of operations: police, fire, parks, a municipal library, water, sewer, electric, and many other services and programs.

Middletown, the oldest town in Dauphin County, was laid out thirty years before Harrisburg and seven years before Hummelstown. Middletown was originally not in the United States. What? That’s correct; our town was founded twenty-two years before our nation. Bring your family to the fun family event and see why Middletown is a great place to live.


Borough Offices located at 60 West Emaus Street, Middletown, PA 17057 Call our Operations Center 24/7 at (717) 948-3000

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