Tunkhannock Borough council acknowledged it had no plans to raise taxes next month, for the third year in a row.
Borough manager Dawn Welch said she would be advertising soon the budget which reflects revenues in the amount of $976,100 (plus $30,000 Act 13 monies) and expenses in the general fund of $227,953, public works of $189,286, and police protection of $601,000.
The budget needs to be available for public inspection for 20 days before it can be voted on at council’s December meeting.
Much of last Thursday’s meet addressed the upset of roads because of the UGI Get Gas program and also a resolution to consider lowering the hiring age for police officers in the borough from 21 to 20.
Councilman David Wiggins brought forth the idea from the Police Committee to lower the hiring age. The next step would be for the council to send the idea to the Civil Service Commission, which Wiggins said is against changing the hiring age.
The motion to send the idea to the Civil Service Commission failed 5-3, with council members Ronald Coolbaugh, Chaz Mead and David Wiggins voting in favor of the motion.
Council President Robert Robinson listed multiple concerns about changing the hiring age, including that you must be 21 to operate a firearm outside of your job, which has the potential to cause some problems.
“We’ve heard from multiple organizations who have voiced their opinions about this change, including the Chief of Police Association in Harrisburg,” Robinson said. “They have said to us that they are against making this change, and I agree with them.”
Council also cited concerns about the current conditions of some sidewalks in the borough, especially in the areas where UGI is currently putting down natural gas lines.
Robinson said that blacktop is being put on the areas where gas pipes were put in, and that UGI is required to restructure the sidewalks and streets to the way they looked before construction.
“We will keep on UGI to do that,” Robinson said. “When the pipes are finished being put in on a street, blacktop will be installed so the borough roads are not a mess in the future.”
Council also acknowledged that recent construction to fix the borough building’s roof is finished and has been paid for. Robinson said that the insurance check for the roof project was mailed out this week.
Council approved the hire of Tiffany Elgin as a part-time Tunkhannock borough secretary.
Tunkhannock Police Chief Keith Carpenter said that the crossing guard on Harrison Street has recently resigned, and asked that the position be advertised to get someone there at needed times.
Carpenter also announced that the borough had recently received a $10,000 Williams Grant, and that he was very happy that even in the time of COVID-19 that the department was able to receive that much grant money.
The money, Carpenter said, would go toward patrol vehicles.
Councilman Dan Gay acknowledged a resident of Philadelphia Avenue had reached out to him about a “bad tree” that would need to be addressed.
Robinson said he was aware of it. The council president also acknowledged that some new trees were coming to the borough in the next week and would likely be planted next Thursday, weather permitting.
Borough Council’s next meeting will be Thursday, Dec. 3, at the borough building.