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Tax hike for Hawley; New board member joins

By Kevin Kearney
November 20, 2013

The Hawley Borough Council plans a tax hike and also has a new member on board.

A proposed .375 millage increase will mean the average borough household will have to pay $35 more per year, Councilman Joseph Faubel, who chairs the finance committee, said at the November 13 meeting.

The proposed tax millage for 2014 is 3.125 mills. A mill is equal to $1 in tax for every $1,000 of assessed property. A property in Hawley assessed at $100,000 would be taxed $312.50.

The preliminary budget, which is balanced, is available for review at the borough building. The council plans to vote on it at its December meeting.

The spending plan, set at $403,250, is broken down as follows: general fund, $340,250; fire department, $19,000; parks and recreation, $8,500; and ambulance, $5,500. The borough also expects to receive $30,000 from the Pennsylvania Local Government Investment Trust, which provides short-term investment needs for local governments.

The millage increase was due in part to a 13% increase in funding to the police department, Faubel said. He also said the borough has to replenish some cash funds and may need to finance part of the cost for a new truck, though the borough is seeking grant money for the purchase.

Regarding the police department salaries, council members said it was discovered that Hawley’s department was being paid less than other police agencies in the region. The increase brings the borough’s department closer to the going rate.

In a separate matter, Ann Monaghan took a seat as the newest council member, replacing incumbent John Robertson, who resigned after losing in this month’s general election. His resignation was accepted with regret.

The term for Monaghan, a Democrat, is four years. Her experience includes being a president of the Wallenpaupack Support Association and a member of the Pennsylvania State Education Association Legislative Committee.

Robertson had been appointed in 2012 to fill an unexpired term. His resignation letter said, in part, he was resigning due to personal reasons. He also expressed gratitude to the council and to those he worked with in the borough.