Elizabethtown passes 2021 with no tax increase | Regional

When: Elizabethtown Borough Council meeting, Dec. 3.

What happened: Council unanimously approved the borough’s 2021 budget. Also passed unanimously was a resolution to keep property taxes at the same rate as 2020 at 4.6 mills, or $460 for a property assessed at $100,000.

Budget: General fund expenditures are predicted to be $6.7 million against $6.03 million in revenues. A stabilization fund remains at $462,585. The borough will begin 2021 with a balance of $901,531 in the general fund. The sewer fund is predicted to end 2021 with $3.4 million in expenditures and $3.12 million in revenue.

Background: The economic shock of the COVID-19 pandemic and the loss of business and municipal revenue in the second and third quarters of the year left the borough with a significant deficit to overcome. Through funds transfers, cost-cutting, and the assistance from the federal CARES Act, the borough was able to enter 2021 with a balanced budget. Throughout the budget negotiations, council President J. Marc Hershey expressed a commitment to avoid a tax increase on borough residents, but added that in the coming year that sewer fees likely will increase to make up for declining fund balances.

Quotable: “I want to express the thanks of council to the entire borough staff. This year was challenging, but with hard work we ended up getting it done two weeks early,” Hershey said.

Appointments: Council appointed Tom Mulleavy to the borough Civil Service Commission for another six-year term ending in 2026, Richard Sheidy to the Elizabethtown Water Authority for another five-year term ending in 2025 and Howard Kroesen to the Greater Elizabethtown Area Recreation & Community Services board for a three-year term ending in 2023.

Other business: Council took no action on the Elizabethtown Area Community Services Authority, the governing body that oversees the Greater Elizabethtown Community and Recreation Services. Council chose to defer the appointment to a later meeting.

COVID: In response to increases in the number of COVID-19 cases in the region, council again is making meetings available to view via Zoom. Present at the Dec. 3 meeting were president Hershey, as well as council members Philip Clark and Thomas Shaud. Members Bill Troutman, Tom McCloud, and Neil Ketchum participated remotely, as did several borough staff members.

What’s next: Council will meet again on Dec. 17.

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