Legislative tally: US House approves spending, tax bills
Locally elected and appointed officials voted on the following matters in the past week:
• The House voted 231-188 to approve a stopgap spending bill to extend government funding until Jan. 19.
• The House voted 224-201 to approve a tax plan, the first overhaul of the U.S. tax code in more than 30 years. U.S. Reps. Tom Marino, R-Cogan Station, and Glenn “G.T.” Thompson, R-Howard voted yes.
• The Senate and House were out of session.
• The Lycoming County commissioners voted 2-1 to enact the updated Hotel Tax Ordinance, changing the tax filing schedule from monthly to a system based on income for the businesses. Voting yes were Tony Mussare and Jack McKernan. Voting no was Rick Mirabito, due to verbiage in the ordinance “that supports the mythology” that the commissioners appoint the members of the Tourism Promotion Agency, which he said has never been the case. The commissioners also approved a professional services agreement 2-1 that will allow contractors Election IQ to survey county polling locations for accessibility issues at a cost not to exceed $50,000. The request was made in response to the Department of Justice declaring its intent to survey Lycoming County polling locations with no guarantee of the county being able to get financial aid to bring potential problems into compliance. Voting no was Mussare, who expressed concern that the efforts will go unfunded despite being mandated by the federal and state governments.
• Williamsport Municipal Water and Sanitary Authority voted 10-0 to approve a $650,000 painting and maintenance contract with LC United of Sterling, Michigan, to paint tanks and inspect the interiors. Voting were Water Chairman Steven W. Cappelli, Sanitary Chairman William G. Ertel, Cindi Perry Rischar, Johnny Meyer, William Nichols Sr., Eiderson Dean, Thomas Marnon Jr., Gregory Zeitler, Andree Phillips and George Bierman.
• The Loyalsock Township supervisors unanimously voted to adopt the 2018 budget which reflects a property tax decrease. The township expects to have just under $3 million left of the $8.3 million total budget, so taxes will decrease by .2 mills. The decrease means the .5-mill tax rate will cost $50 on an average home valued at $100,000.
• The Williamsport Parking Authority voted 5-0 to purchase property at 270 W. Third St., for $275,000. Voting yes were Rose Choate, Anthony Cipolla, Ruth Grieco, Jared Kinley, and Marc Shefsky.
• John A Pecchia was elected in a 6-2 vote to fill the Jersey Shore School Board’s two-year term vacancy. Voting for Pecchia were members Craig Allen, Harry Brungard, Christopher Fravel, Merrill Sweitzer, Mary Thomas and Kelley Wasson. The other two member votes from Karen Stover and Michelle Stemler went to another candidate, Angela Grant.
• East Lycoming School Board voted unanimously to approve a contract with the district’s teachers.
The contract will last from the 2018-19 school year to the 2021-22 school year. The average salary for a teacher at the district increased by 2.6 percent. The contract also instituted a Qualified High Deductible Health Plan for incoming teachers. In attendance were Richard Michael, Richard Bradley, Donna Gavitt, Erica Hubler, Michael Mamrak, Karen Berger, Lisa McClintock and Robert Heckrote.