I was frustrated because SVN takes umask to assign file permissions for the user and I had one file that needed different permissions to run. After researching for a while at the best approach, I decided to create a 3 line bash script to do change the file permissions afters the svn update.

I named the file svnupdate.sh so running bash svnupdate.sh from shell changes the directory to public_html, updates the files, and then changes the permissions of the index.php file.

This is not meant to be an elaborate solution, but hopefully will point someone to a direction quicker that it took me.