Category: Kittanning Borough

Kittanning Borough Approves $2.6 million Budget Plan

Kittanning Borough Mayor Kirk Atwood signs the new ordinances – for the 2015 budget and eliminating the per capita tax assessed to local residents.

By Jonathan Weaver

Kittanning Borough taxpayers will be saving money in 2015 after Borough Council repealed the per capita tax and passed a balanced budget for next year.

Motioned by Councilman David Croyle and seconded by Councilman Ange Turco, the $2.6 million spending plan was unanimously passed earlier this month.

Council President Randy Cloak was proud to sign the ordinance repealing the $10 tax along with Mayor Kirk Atwood.

“Kittanning Borough’s the highest taxed municipality in the county. I’m proud to be from Kittanning, and I think we need to give people reasons to come to Kittanning,” Cloak said. “Having the most deplorable infrastructure and the highest tax rate don’t go together – people want to see something for what they’re paying for.

“And I think if we continue the road we’re on, my hope is to decrease our millage rate next year. It’s all in how you manage the budget and prioritizing the projects.”

Cloak explained that saving the approximately-$150,000 remaining in loan funds and repaving Jacob Street in Summer 2015 rather than now, it will enable the municipality to pave other problem spots. And he credited each department head for maximizing their individual budgets well.

“It’s significant – we’re in hard economic times, and we’ve made it work,” Cloak said. “It’s a testament to the employees here as well. It’s not just the (council members) sitting at the table, but the people that come to work here every day. Nobody’s spending money that’s not necessary to spend.

“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in 2014 and hope we accomplish much more in 2015.”

The budget even includes $18,000 of additional revenue – after the sale or real estate and equipment – to account for reimbursement of police overtime
With the savings incurred, council members allocated $23,000 more in funding toward a new police cruiser and $33,000 in major equipment likely a pick-up truck to be utilized by Street Department employees.

Police Chief Bruce Mathews might also have a new officer on the streets next year after civil service exams begin today.

The last tax increase – of three mills – went into effect January 1, 2012. Cloak has still seen taxes double since the 1990’s when he started on council and aimed not to increase them anymore.

The tax rate will remain at 27.5 mills

 

New Round of Kittanning Parking Changes Adopted

Council President Randy Cloak and Mayor Kirk Atwood look over the numerous changes coming for motorists and employees who park downtown during the work week.

by Jonathan Weaver

At least 40 meters will be taken out on three Kittanning Borough streets.

“Low-producing and mostly residential” meters between the Borough Building on South McKean Street and Snyder-Crissman Funeral Home at the Jacob Street intersection, starting at Judge James Owen’s magisterial court office along North Jefferson Street to the Vine Street intersection and from the former Armstrong United Way offices on North Water Street to the Arch Street intersection will all be removed after recommendations by Borough Council President Randy Cloak and Police Chief Bruce Mathews.

Cloak said a number of the businesses affected already have parking lots available and that residents should not have to pay to park in front of their houses.

Most meters on North Water in that area were already removed when the YMCA relocated.

Other changes were also voted on last week.

“There are a significant number of changes here – most important is that all meters will be quarter-operated. We will be removing the nickel and dime options for all parking facilities in the Borough,” Cloak said.

A quarter will allow Market Street customers a half-hour of parking, but meters will also be reconfigured so customers can deposit money to park up to 90 minutes (75 cents).

The changes will come into effect depending on the Street Department employees’ availability. Cloak said he hopes for meter removal immediately

As of January 1, permit parking will also be removed from municipal lots. Anyone who has paid for permit parking already into January 2015 will be reimbursed

“All spots will be first-come, first-served, and the parking areas will be available to everyone,” Cloak said.

Mayor Kirk Atwood said that a quarter will pay for two hours of parking outside of Market Street– so for example, local employees with an eight-hour work day will pay $2 worth.

All parking lot meters will be configured to allow parking up to 10 hours.

“This will now be a uniform system, and all you’ll need is a quarter. Now, you never know – maybe it only takes dimes or nickels or quarters.”

Lenape Tech students will be asked to paint the existing meters black after they are recalibrated.

The recommendations were approved by a majority of council members 6-1.

Councilman David Croyle was opposed, and Councilman Andy Peters was absent.

Part-time Meter Attendant Amanda King will monitor parking up to 20 hours per week starting in 2015.

In other Borough business, a three-member ad-hoc committee – Finance Committee members Chair Wilbur Stitt, President Pro Tempe Kim Fox and former Chair Joie Pryde – will select between two companies to reprint the Borough ordinances at a maximum cost of $10,000.

Borough Council has received a bid from Keystate Publishers, Inc., of Shippensburg, and General Code, based in Rochester, New York.

“Both of those companies are quite reputable, but I do think they often a little different services. There is a price difference there,” Cloak said. “I do think this is something we need to do – the last time we had our codes updated was 1998, the same year I graduated high school.”

The Keystate Publishers quote expires at the end of the month

Borough Police Civil Service interviews are set for Tuesday, December 16 and Wednesday, December 17.

“I do feel confident that the first/second week of January (that) we should be ready with a recommendation for a new hire,” Chief Mathews said.

Free parking will be available from December 17-January 1 as opposed to two weeks before Christmas which was usually done.