Factoryville Borough Council passes budget, tax ordinance

By Robert Tomkavage - rtomkavage@timesleader.com | February 16th, 2016 11:23 am

FACTORYVILLE — Members of the borough council approved a revised budget and tax ordinance during a meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 10.

The only change from the $303,847 general fund budget, previously passed on Dec. 9, is a 2-mill increase to the property taxes.

“In December, we passed a budget with 16 general purpose mills,” Borough Manager Mary Ellen Buckbee said. “It will change to 18 mills with the intention of giving the additional 2 mills to the fire company for the building of a new fire hall.”

The 2-mill increase will cost each household in Factoryville and Clinton Township, on average, an additional $40 per year.

According to Buckbee, a new traffic signal has been installed at Keystone College but it’s not currently operational. She added the borough will be responsible for the maintenance, but any costs will be reimbursed by the college.

“The college has agreed that our taxpayers shouldn’t be burdened by the cost to maintain the traffic light being installed to protect their students,” Buckbee said. “The borough expects to receive an executed contract for the traffic signal agreement shortly.”

Council members approved a motion to rebid a trail project around Christy Mathewson Park.

“We bid it out last year and the bid came in very high,” Grant Writer Sadie Rozenburg said. “We’re changing the scope of the project to try to get a bid we can afford. We have a few options: connect the play pockets with a paved trail, partially construct it with stone dust or construct the whole trail with stone dust.”

Members of council discussed revising the tax collection ordinance.

According to Buckbee, an ordinance, passed in 2015, imposes a fee of $5 per tax bill issued.

“The tax collector has requested that the borough changes the fee to $10,” she said.

Council members opted to table the issue until next month’s meeting.

Members of council accepted the resignation of councilwoman Genevieve Evans, effective Feb. 10. Evans had served on council since 2003.

Emergency Management Director Chris Bergey announced a stormwater public education meeting will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at borough hall.

According to Buckbee, after building a new salt shed and paying Watkins Street in 2014, the borough has $14,o00 in impact fee funds left over from 2015.

“The auditors reminded us the money can be used to help pay for more expensive police protection or parks,” she said. “We’ve always used it for roads and stormwater (management).”

Butch Schaffer of Dalton addressed council to ask permission to use borough hall to start a Fit Club. Schaffer, an independent beachbody coach, would like to bring people together for a 30-minute workout once a week.

Schaffer’s plan was to offer the class for free with any donations going back to the borough, however borough solicitor Paul Litwin mentioned a Zumba class charges $5 per person with $1 going back to the borough.

“We may want to think about requesting a fee of $1 person per person to stay consistent,” Litwin said.

Litwin added there would also be insurance requirements.

“This could be viewed as a community service type of activity but it would have to be insured against risks and injury,” he said. “Before making a decision, we should probably check with the insurance company and require whatever insurance they recommend as a pre-requisite to having the class.”

Members of Factoryville Borough Council will next meet at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9 at borough hall, 161 College Ave.

By Robert Tomkavage


Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.