DuBoistown holding the line on taxes

DuBoistown Borough Council announced there will be no tax hike for 2018 after council members approved the first reading of a tentative budget at their meeting Thursday night.

Although they still need to nail down raises for borough employees, according to Councilman Norman Cowden, there will be no change to the bottom line of the proposed budget. Expected revenues for next year are at $531,087 with proposed expenditures totaling $510,804 leaving the borough with an excess of $20,283. No increase is expected in the current monthly water rates of $72 for each household in the borough.

Over the last two years, council has raised taxes a half of a mill each year, but from watching their spending, according to Cowden, no increase was necessary for next year. The current millage rate in the borough is 3.93 mills.

In other business, Fire Chief Paul McKinley told council that the fire department has achieved a rating of three from the Insurance Services Office on a scale of one to ten with one being the highest rating.

John Bickhart, engineering services manager for the Lycoming County Waste and Sewer Authority, who was at the meeting, said the rating is shared with only about 20 municipalities nationwide.

“It’s an incredible rating,” he said. “It’s a very big deal.”

A fire department’s rating affects how insurance rates are calculated in a municipality, which directly benefits residents. McKinley said the next step for the fire department is to go for a two rating.

In another item related to the fire department, the first annual Battle of the Food Trucks will be held from 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the Borough Building. According to McKinley, about 14 trucks are expected to be on site for the fundraiser.

Other actions items for council included approval of an amendment to an agreement between the borough and the authority. The action was taken to change the amount of insurance required in the original agreement from one million to a more negotiable amount.

In his report to council, Brian Book from RETTEW, the borough’s engineer, introduced Dave Hanes as project manager for the borough and said a right-of-way plan had been drawn up for work associated with West Mountain Avenue.