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Bowmanstown council discusses road repairs

Dedicated Bowmanstown residents joined borough council Tuesday during a special planning meeting to discuss strategies for the funding of road repairs.

Over the past six months, residents of Bowmanstown have joined the monthly council meetings to voice their displeasure with the road conditions.

With limited budget funds, the council has been looking into every possible option for road repair.

The members of council explained the options they were contemplating in last week’s council meeting.

After a week of thought and research, council described their possible choices moving forward.

Following public comment, council would vote on three possible choices: Raising taxes either 1 or 2 mills, instituting a franchise fee on cable, or doing neither and working with the current budget.

“If the franchise tax is implemented, we will split the profit between the roads and the fire company. We would like to put more than one option on the table,” explained council President Kara Scott.

The franchise tax would generate approximately $14,000; half would go to the roads, sending the other $7,000 to the fire company.

The first public comments came Bowmanstown Volunteer Fire Company Chief Mike Spairana.

“We cannot keep going as is. We need some financial support. I’m not here to threaten anyone, but if we don’t get help from the community there will be no fire company,” Spairana said.

The chief’s comments raised interesting questions such as, “What if there was no local fire company?”

The answer is that not only would residents not have a team down the road ready to protect their home, the fire insurance tax would go up tremendously.

Residents also continued to voice their displeasure with the cable franchise tax, explaining that they would rather have their taxes increased.

After some final discussion, the council voted on the three options on the table.

A 4-2 vote passed to look at increasing taxes by 2 mills.

One mill ($14,945) will be devoted strictly to roads, and the other to the fire company.

This option looked to be the best one moving forward that was agreed upon both by council and by the community.

Following that vote, the council unanimously voted on the start of repair on the lowest-grade streets immediately.

Before winter arrives, the goal is to pave cartways and repair the following streets: Mill, Sander, Craig and Spring.

The cost of the repairs will total approximately $80,776 and will begin immediately.