Thorpe holds the line on taxes
Property taxes will not be on the rise in Jim Thorpe Borough in 2020.
Borough council unanimously adopted its 2020 operating budget on Thursday night with the millage rate staying at 13.45. The decision comes a year after taxes went up 1.54 mills.
“Most of the larger stuff in the general fund is for loan payments for our projects,” borough Manager Maureen Sterner said at a budget workshop in November.
The borough intends to move forward in 2020 with plans to tear down its current public works garage, currently located at Memorial Park, and build a new one near its water plant on the west side of town.
Plans also call for the borough to relocate its office staff to a portion of the hall’s top floor, while the police department would move into the bottom of the hall, which for many years was used as a roller skating rink.
The Department of Agriculture announced a $2.2 million loan for the Memorial Hall project in 2019 and a $2.5 million loan for the garage project. While property taxes, as well as sewer rates will hold steady in 2020, water rates are set to increase by 5 percent.
For the water fund, Sterner said, the biggest change is additional money for lab testing to meet Department of Environmental Protection requirements.
Council also agreed to reduce the borough’s miscellaneous budget by $1,000 and give that money as an added donation to the library.
Police Chief Joe Schatz said he would like to see the part-time officer rate increased from $16 per hour to come in line with other municipalities. The department, he said, heavily relies on its part-time officers for added coverage at events.
Sterner, at the October workshop, said there is an additional $10,000 in the budget for part-time officers.