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From “Chronicling Elizabethtown” and Borough Councilmen Jeff McCloud

Dec 29th, 2010 | By | Category: Front Page, News

PennDOT reviews bids for West College Avenue extension
Monday, December 20, 2010
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is reviewing bids for the construction of West College Avenue, and if PennDOT approves the low bid Elizabethtown Borough Council may vote and approve it as early as next month. If things go according to plan, the borough is anticipating that construction will start in March and will last for a year and a half.

While it has been an inconvenience for traffic, the delay in the project came after the borough had to do further environmental studies of underground storage tanks on the property at the old service station.

Many thanks go to Mars Inc. for its community support that has allowed traffic to skirt across its private property throughout the project. Once completed, traffic will have a straight shot past the chocolate plant, across the creek to Market Street.
Council adopts 2011 budget with a tax increase
Saturday, December 18, 2010
After holding the line for 2010, Elizabethtown Borough Council adopted the borough’s 2011 budget Dec. 16 with a tax increase of eight-tenths of a mill, bringing the total rate to 5 mills.

That means the average property owner with an assessed value of $150,000 will see $120 increase in taxes for 2011.

The vote was 6-0 in favor of spending plan, but Councilman Tom Shaud took a long pause before casting his roll call vote to say that the increase will have a significant impact on him as a blue-collar worker. But, he said, the work of the borough must continue. Councilman Neil Ketchum said at the end of the meeting that in his year on Borough Council the budget vote was his most difficult decision.

The tax increase was necessary as the borough faced a deficit of $340,000 thanks to revenue projections for the earned income tax that are lower than in years past. The current economy and high unemployment rate contribute to lower collections in the tax.

I personally did receive correspondence from some residents who said the borough needs to maintain its current level of service while also not increasing taxes. Only two people attended Thursday’s council meeting, and just one spoke out against the tax increase.

It’s worth noting again that the 2011 budget does not include nearly $15 million in projects funded through a number of grants that Elizabethtown has been fortunate to receive. Throughout 2011, residents will see a number of these projects start or be completed, all with little or no impact on municipal budgets.

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