Taxes, garbage fees raised
Engineering fees to comply with the Act 537 Sewage Facilities Plan and the failure of some residents to pay their garbage bills will cause taxes and fees to rise in Parryville for 2012.
Also, an estimated higher cost for the proposed salt shed was a factor.
At a special meeting Tuesday night, council tentatively adopted the new budget which carries a two-mill tax increase and a garbage collection increase of $20 a year. This year, Parryville residents paid $180 for garbage collection.
The last time Parryville Council raised taxes was in 2007 when taxes were raised 1.5 mills. One mill generates approximately $5,000. A home assessed at $40,000 will pay an additional $80 a year in real estate taxes in 2012 due to the increase.
Parryville anticipates receiving $295,035 for general taxing purposes.
Council took a big step at the meeting to comply with Act 537. Harry Garmin, engineer, offered a nine-step activity report that council approved to be sent to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources. Issett said the anticipated engineering costs of $41,508 do not include anticipated legal fees.
Mike Grant, council president, said that half of the fees are reimbursable, but that Parryville will have to pay the fees well ahead of the grant reimbursement, which necessitated the two-mill tax increase.
He said council will be paying off the engineering fees at the rate of $2,000 a month for the next 24 months.
Dana Brubaker said the borough is struggling to stay ahead of the garbage bills.
"We really have no choice, but to raise the garbage fees," said Brubaker.
Council also opened bids for construction of the salt shed. Low bidder, Home Solution Partners of Palmerton, was awarded the bid at $105,495. Construction will begin within a few weeks.
Grant stressed that a new salt shed is not responsible for the increase in taxes. Revenue for the shed will come out of the Liquid Fuels funds, which is built up by the taxes motorists pay on gasoline.
The borough receives approximately $15,000 a year from the Liquid Fuels Fund.
Grant said last year, the borough paid nearly as much for two loads of a salt/cinders mix for major icy conditions on Fireline Road as it will for the 100 tons of salt needed to supply trucks for the entire winter.
Council also seated a new council member. Cathy Hawk was sworn in last night by secretary Brubaker, who is also a notary. She replaces Jeff Kocher, who recently resigned from council because he moved out of the borough.
The budget is set for adoption when council meets at 7 p.m. Dec. 20.