Brookville Borough Proposes 2019 Budget with No Tax Increases

BROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – On Wednesday night, the Brookville Borough Council proposed a balanced budget for 2019 with no tax increases.

(Pictured above: Mayor Dick Beck, Officer Mark Humes, and Chief Vince Markle)

The Finance Committee is proposing to reinstate their donation of $1,000.00 to the Jefferson County Solid Waste Authority’s waste collection and recycling. The Finance Committee indicated that there would be additional funding in the proposed budget for the code enforcement in handling blighted properties as well as funds to purchase a new patrol car and tasers for the Borough Police Department. Council President Phil Hynes thanked the borough Manager Dana Schreckengost and the Finance Committee for maintaining the budget without a tax increase.

The Council approved an application to the county for a grant in the amount of $11,000.00 to purchase a new dump truck for the Public Works Department. The truck would cost $116,000.00 total, which would be purchased with a low-interest rate loan.

Police Chief Vince Markle and Mayor Dick Beck presented Officer Mark Humes with a special citation to commemorate his retirement after 33 years. Markle reported that many of the officers in the department are involved in a plethora of online trainings at a great savings to the borough. He also reported that there is a full-time officer at Hickory Grove Elementary School, a full-time officer at the Junior-Senior High School, and fifteen hours of police time delegated for Northside Elementary and Pinecreek Elementary Schools. In total, the police coverage of the school district is 95-100 hours per week, not including after school events. The time is funded by the Safe Schools grants procured by the district.

Beck and several council members took an opportunity to recognize the police department for the significant work they are doing to keep the community safe.

Beck noted that since Chief Markle has taken over the police department has “turned around” with “state of the art equipment.” He added that he believes the Brookville Borough has “one of the best police department in the whole county now.”

Council Member Randy Bartley praised the police for the “good old fashioned police work” in dealing with criminal activity.

Council Member Rick Baughman commented on the 177 calls that the police department took this month and said that, with the police department and fire department, he “couldn’t feel prouder or safer.”

The council voted to delay the demolition of a condemned house on Jenks Street until a judicial sale which is planned for this spring. If the property is purchased during the judicial sale, which Solicitor Jim Dennison explained as a sale that would be “free and clear” of liens against it, then, the property will stay on the tax rolls. The council can proceed with the demolition if the property is not purchased. Dennison noted that any renovations on the property would have to be approved by the council since it has been labeled as condemned.

During public comment, Hynes indicated that the council would comply with an Open Record request made by borough resident Tawnia Norris who brought her concerns to the council regarding her flooded property. She said the recent flooding in October not only caused damage to her property but also caused severe stress to her mother. The Council had previously indicated that the borough is not liable for flooding on private property.

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