East Penn Press

Monday, June 1, 2020

macungie borough council

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 by PETER MCCONNELL Special to The Press in Local News

Residents are one step closer to a local services tax increase

Macungie Borough Council approved a motion authorizing the borough solicitor to prepare an ordinance to increase the local services tax from $10 to $52 annually for people working in the borough effective Jan. 1, 2015. This tax is a local tax payable by all individuals who hold a job or profession within Macungie.

The ordinance was to be drafted for council's next meeting and reviewed again before being advertised for public hearing.

Borough Manager Chris Boehm also recommended council authorize Berkheimer as the collector for the LST and per capita taxes. She says even with Berkheimer's small fee for collection the borough would still be making revenue on the tax with the voted increase.

The borough also received and approved a new cost estimate on roof replacement bids from appointed engineers Barry Isett & Associates. The new estimate is for $15,800 which covers both the roof of Borough Hall and the Macungie Institute. Previously Barry Isett had provided estimates of $10,000 for each building, but these were combined with duplicated items eliminated.

Council President Chris Becker is still concerned pairing the estimates together is going to cause an issue by attracting larger contractors who are more likely to be equipped to do the two projects simultaneously. But time is running out until winter and Becker said he would rather move on with the projects.

Council received a new estimate of $172,000 in engineering costs for capital projects, about $20,000 less than the last estimate, reported Becker.

The loan taken for the capital projects is $1 million. When Council Member Debra Cope asked how much over budget the project would be with the new estimate, Becker responded about $25,000.

Cope requested a spread- sheet be drawn up showing projected and current costs for capital projects for council to review. She stressed the importance of questioning the engineering costs for the purpose of staying within the budgeted number, particularly because of the large amount of money at stake.

Boehm reported on a meeting she had attended with the Public Utility Commission and Norfolk Southern regarding the intersection of Main Street with the railroad tracks. A borough resident has raised concern about safety for handicap pedestrians at this crossing. Council continues to await a decision from PennDOT on options for providing a safe pedestrian crossway.

Boehm obtained permission from council to write a $6,935 check for PPL to install 19 drops on streetlights between Chestnut Street and the south end of town for the purpose of hanging Christmas lights. The town Beautification Committee matched a $7,000 grant with $3,500 so this could be achieved. Boehm says the check will be reimbursed by the grant.

As three members were absent at the Sept. 2 meeting– Greg Hutchison, John Yerman and Dave Boyko– council postponed a decision on what to do about parking on West End Trail and Brookfield Drive until more council members would be present.

There was discussion about opening the prohibited parking areas on Brookfield to compact or passenger car parking, and only prohibiting large tractor trailers from parking there.