During a special Saturday morning meeting of Dalton’s Borough Council on Dec. 28, members voted to approve the 2014 budget without a tax increase.
The $824,400 budget keeps the borough’s tax rate at 20.2 mills. A mill is a $1 tax on every $1,000 of assessed property value, meaning the owner of a property assessed at $100,000 will pay $202 in borough taxes this year.
While holding the line on taxes was a welcome surprise for residents, council also voted to keep Police Chief Christopher Tolson for another three years with a pay increase.
Tolson will earn $48,500 in each year of the contract council approved by a 6-0 vote. He had been earning $46,831 a year under the old contract.
The matter of Tolson’s position was hotly debated at a meeting earlier in December, which drew a huge crowd and a petition bearing hundreds of signatures urging council to retain the chief. Tolson was informed in November that his contract would not be renewed and council began interviewing applicants, including Tolson, for the position.
Councilman Aaron Holzman met with Tolson to review his contract and outline changes that benefit both the chief and the borough, he said.
“I met with Chris and discussed the contract. I made some changes and came up with a contract everyone can agree on,” he said. The contract outlines the duties of the chief, something that was absent from the previous agreement.
Council also eliminated the position of a full time police officer but said there will be an increase in the number of part time officers.
In other business, Dalton Council will hold a special reorganization meeting on Monday, Jan. 6 at 7 p.m. in the social hall in the Dalton fire station. Four new council members will be sworn in as well as the mayor. Votes will take place on council positions including president and vice president. Other appointments that will be made include the solicitor, secretary, treasurer and the sewer enforcement officer.