East Penn Press

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


Thursday, December 7, 2017 by SHARON SCHRANTZ Special to The Press in Local News

Proposed tax increase in 2018 budget

It was announced there is a proposed tax increase in the 2018 budget which was authorized to be advertised at the Dec. 4, 2017 Macungie Borough Council meeting.

The increase is ½ mill from 3.5 mills in 2017 to 4 mills in 2018. For a home with annual real estate taxes of $1,800, the increase would be $198, for a home with annual taxes of $500, the increase would be $70 and for a $1,000 tax bill, the increase would be $140. The 2018 preliminary budget is on display at borough hall and on the borough website, www.macungie.pa.us. Adoption of the 2018 final budget and tax ordinance will take place at the Dec. 18 council meeting.

Macungie Holiday will be held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 9 throughout the town. There are many activities planned, including new additions of ice sculpting at the Flower Park, Princess Elsa at Sal’s Pizza and the Grinch at the police department. Council members urged everyone to come out for the family fun.

It was announced the Main Street Streetscape project continues with Phase 1 almost completed. There will be a public meeting Jan. 22, 2018 to discuss Phase 2 of the project. A grant for Phase 3 has been submitted and presented to LVTS.

Dennis Fritz raised concern about the vehicles parking in the yellow no parking zone in front of the Macungie Pub wregularly causing visibility issues for people pulling out of Lea Street onto Main Street. He suggested a bump out be added to this area to eliminate this dangerous problem.

The bump out on Race Street by the railroad tracks was removed at a cost of $6,400. Council did not have a cost to install one bump out.

The bump out on the corner of Race Street and Route 100 was built with a roll over curb keeping large vehicles in mind. There is a concern this corner will cause problems for larger vehicles. A marker sign was added but business owner Tim Romig, Automotive Service Solutions, Macungie, said his rental trucks are scraping the sign because of the closeness to the road. It is difficult for a large vehicle to make a right turn with the additional obstacle. Council will follow up with this concern.

Council President Chris Becker said the project is making a difference in traffic. The bump outs are slowing traffic. Some residents feel this is not so, as vehicles continue to drive fast on Main Street.

It was reported the fire department issue is improving. There was a 10 point report council created for the fire department to get back on track. Some of these points are ongoing but the points are being satisfied. An ISO report was received showing a rating of 4.1 versus a prior report rating of 5.9 (the lower numbers represents a good rating).

Mayor Gary Cordner reported the Macungie Police Department is reaching out to the community with a Facebook page and a website. Crime prevention is an ongoing topic. Macungie Police wear body cameras and have done so for three years.

Cordner said the police department operates 24/7, responding to emergency and fire calls and assisting with traffic control. Every morning an officer assists the school bus drivers with crossing the railroad tracks to keep traffic flowing on Main Street. Officers are also around for car shows as well as other events. These benefits are the result of having a borough police department.

Cordner also praised council saying he admires their work. Although the mayor sits with council, he does not vote unless there is a tie. Cordner particularly praised Council President Chris Becker and Vice President Roseanne Schleicher on their involvement and time commitment to the community. “They do phenomenal work,” Cordner said.

Becker then praised Cordner for bringing professionalism to Macungie and said it has been a pleasure working with him.