NESCOPECK – Council took action on Monday night to sustain existing tax rates in the borough and to advertise a balanced general fund budget for 2013, which is scheduled to be officially adopted at the December meeting.
According to an ordinance adopted by council, taxation for general purposes will remain at 1.777 mills (a mill is $1 for every $1,000 in assessed valuation) and 0.2 mills for street lighting. In addition, the borough imposes a $10 per capita levy, a $52 personal services tax and a 1 percent earned income tax.
At present, according to Stacey Kachurka, secretary/treasurer, council's fiscal proposal is to raise and spend $316,956.
Beyond the budget, council spent substantial time discussing police department issues, including the need for officers to comply with procedures and policies set down by council and Mayor Tim Kelchner.
During the discussion, Councilman Kim Kishbaugh said, We seem to be bordering on the same problems we had with (deposed police chief James) Disidorio. We need the officers to understand they have to follow policy and if they don't, they should consider getting another job.
Councilman Dick Powlus, who serves on the police committee, said he has found that police officers have been going to the secretary with issues, but he said, They need to know the secretary isn't part of the chain of command. The mayor and council are.
It was finally resolved, through a proposal by Councilman Dave Madera, that a meeting needs to be scheduled involving the police and members of the police committee.
In other matters:
• Council accepted the resignation of police Officer Donald Morgan.
• Council decided to apply for $50,000 in gaming funds from Luzerne County for the possible purchase of a new police cruiser.
• Madera reported additional surveillance cameras have been installed at the recreation park in order to forestall vandalisms and identify vandals.
• Council acted to utilize $2,700 in FEMA funds for the purchase of an emergency electrical generator at the borough building.
• Council tabled, because of a $32,000 annual premium, action on the purchase of federally funded flood insurance for the wastewater treatment plant.
• Council approved a payment of $3,580 to Bognet Inc. of Hazleton for work at the treatment plant.
• Council accepted the bid of the Howard Organization, $6,570, to raise by 4 feet the electrical panel at the main pumping station of the sewage system.