BROOKVILLE — The Brookville Borough Council unanimously approved the 2020 budget Tuesday night with only a slight increase in the fire tax (0.3 mills) at the request of the Brookville Volunteer Fire Department. This would bring the fire protection tax to 1.4 mills for 2020.
It was stated at a previous borough council meeting, that fire department is in need of a new fire truck and the money from the increase will go towards that goal.
Otherwise taxes for general purposes, street lighting and the library will remain the same as the current year’s.
A taxing ordinance will be advertised for 30 days and is scheduled to be approved at the second meeting in December.
Gary Hoffman, who resides in the Waterford Pike area of the borough, addressed council during the public comment portion of Tuesday’s meeting.
He noted that he moved there 25 years ago and is in favor of the emergency siren on Pine Street. He said the siren only rings twice when the fire department has to go out and that it serves the purpose of letting residents in that area of town know something is going on. He said he would “like to see it remain.”
Hoffman referenced a letter sent to council by Dr. Marin Boghean, also a borough resident, owns a house in the area of Pine Street. Boghean wrote to complain about the siren which had been silent for a year but was repaired this past summer and put back into use.
He suggested firemen use pagers or cell phones and noted that the siren goes off two to three times in a night but said even once a night caused disruption to his family.
While the decision of keeping the siren in use or not is up to the fire company, Mayor Dick Beck said the fire company has put money into it to get it working again. He added that he was involved in getting the siren back operating and had received many calls from people in the area who were glad to have it used once more.
Council member Karen Allgeier handed out a release from the Carlisle Fire Company in response to complaints from Milford residents. The release talked about why a siren sounds and noted that the National Fire Protection Association recommends two reliable means to alert firefighters to an emergency. The siren, it noted, gets the firefighters attention anytime.
The siren is going to stay; there’s no reason to stop having it functioning for fire and tornado warnings for our residents, she noted.
The council also approved two resolutions, both dealing with the Jefferson County Tax Collection Committee. The first one approved the appointment of a voting delegate from the borough as well as two alternates. They are Dana Schreckengost with first alternate Bonnie Parrott and second alternate D. Kerry Swineford. All three held these positions last year.
The second resolution approved the committee’s 2020 budget of $8,000. Schreckengost noted that the borough’s share was around $500.
A special event permit was also approved. It was for the annual Victorian Christmas celebration, scheduled for December 6-8. Main Street will not be closed any of the days. Allgeier noted that at borough police Chief Vince Markle’s suggestion, a police vehicle will lead the Live Nativity procession on Main Street and another will follow it to ensure safety.
Schreckengost also noted that the council’s reorganization meeting is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 6, at 7 p.m.
Allgeier also asked fellow council members to consider the draft proposal for a five-year plan for the borough. She said having such a plan in place opens up grant money and other funding opportunities for the borough.
Council will next meet in regular session at 7 p.m. Tuesday, December 3.