Catasauqua Press

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Tax hike expected in Catasauqua Borough 2020 budget

Tuesday, November 26, 2019 by BILL LEINER JR. Special to The Press in Local News

The Catasauqua Borough Council workshop meeting Nov. 25 began with budget talks. A planned discussion of upcoming ordinances quickly jumped to the 2020 budget.

Borough Manager Steven Travers reported he has the final 2020 budget prepared and ready for distribution to council. Council President Vincent Smith asked that the final budget be distributed as soon as possible as he expects a vote on the budget at the Dec. 2 council meeting.

Travers noted the current tax hike is 0.5 mill. For a home assessed at $100,000, this is a $50 tax increase.

“I want to hear how $500,000 was reduced in the budget,” council member Brian McKittrick said. “What I am really interested in is across-the-board cuts. Did everyone give up something? Not just that one department gave it all.”

Travers said the reductions were spread out throughout the budget.

The 2020 budget includes the purchase of a new police car.

Travers noted the long-awaited roof repairs at the historic George Taylor House will begin next week. Solicitor Thomas Dinkelacker reported the Internal Revenue Service 501(c)3 application for the George Taylor House committee is near completion.

Travers also recommended council renew the borough’s consulting contract with Taggert Associates. Taggert consults for the Iron Works project. Travers noted Taggert has assisted securing high-dollar grants to help fund the Iron Works area.

Mayor Barbara Schlegel thanked the public works department for placing the American flags out for Veterans Day and for putting up the holiday decorations throughout the borough.

Schlegel reported the Catasauqua holiday tree-lighting ceremony at borough hall is 5-7 p.m. Dec. 8. The tree will be a live evergreen that will be planted and serve as the borough’s holiday tree going forward. The Antebellum Marine Band will provide music at the tree-lighting event.

McKittrick noted the fire marshal will be present in the borough early next year to address residents who burn wood in their backyards. It is expected an ordinance may be developed to address residents’ complaints of smoke and safety issues associated with burning in backyards.

He also said there remains a vacancy on the civil service commission.

The next Catasauqua council meeting is 7 p.m. Dec. 2 at Catasauqua Borough Hall, 90 Bridge St.