Summit Hill Borough Council last night gave approval to a tentative budget which calls for a 1.5-mill tax increase for 2010.

Council member Michael Kokinda said one mill is for general purposes and the half mill is for street lighting.

He said a 30 percent rate increase is anticipated by PPL Electric in the new year.

The total millage is 13.6, with 1.5 for street lighting, 11.6 for the general budget, and .5 for fire protection.

Four members attended the meeting and unanimously approved the tentative budget. They are Kokinda, Council President Joe Weber, John O'Gurek, and Ken Boyd.

"I wish it didn't have to be this way," Weber said regarding the proposed tax hike.

The budget lists receipts and expenditures of $1,352,575.53.

Weber said the biggest impact on the budget besides electric rates is the cost of health insurance coverage for the town's employees.

He said borough officials have contacted another firm which has quoted a lower rate for insurance, but union employees have to review it and then give their approval since a contract already exists specifying their coverage.

Kokinda said the borough is also looking into ways it can reduce its electric costs including seeking alternative providers for electricity.

Final adoption of the budget will occur during a special meeting of the council at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 29.

In other matters, the council set meeting dates for 2010.

The council's reorganization meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 4, followed by a general meeting.

Regular monthly meetings from February through December will continue to be held at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month.