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Pennsburg Working on 2022 Budget with No Tax Increase
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Pennsburg Council is developing a 2022 budget that does not include a tax hike. Members discussed the details during Tuesday night's workshop meeting.

            The proposed $2.617 million budget will likely require a transfer of $53,609 from the borough's reserve fund to cover a shortfall, according to council President Diane Stevens. She said that figure could fluctuate.

            The borough is projected to end the current year with a surplus of $161,117, according to Stevens. After the meeting, she credited most of the leftover money to residential development.

            Vice President Patrick Suter said municipal officials have been practicing "extreme fiscal responsibility." He said that Mayor Charles Shagg and Member Wayne Stevens have volunteered to pick up items for the borough's roads department in order to eliminate delivery fees.  "We're also doing a lot more in house," Diane Stevens said.

            Municipal officials identified the cost of trash removal and road repairs as two of the borough's largest increases in expenses. According to Wayne Stevens, the borough hopes to utilize the funds it received in the sale of a mower to purchase an electronic jack hammer for no more than $3,000. He said its employees are currently using one borrowed from East Greenville.

            Council is also considering the addition of a permit for all businesses in the borough that implement a security alarm system. Several members expressed their support for the proposal. After the meeting, they appeared to express a consensus for a $50 annual fee.  "I like the idea," Member Mike Mensch said during the meeting.

            Creation of an ordinance allowing the fee would require businesses to inform the Upper Perk Police Department of their systems, according to Suter. He said that when an alarm currently goes off, law enforcement officials don't know who to contact. "We're trying to be proactive," the vice president said, adding that it would create a much needed data base.

            Pennsburg Fire Company Chief Scott Seip favors the proposal, according to Member Keith Goodwin. He suggested that police chief Joe Adam weigh in on the issue.

            Goodwin provided the council with similar ordinances from Kutztown, Lansdale and Hatfield boroughs. The members agreed to allow Solicitor Adam Sager to use them to draft an ordinance, with an appropriate fee structure, that they could consider during their Nov. 9 meeting. Diane Stevens said it would make sense to have this in place by Jan. 1, 2022.

            Earlier this month, during a Zoom meeting regarding plans to replace the 11th Street bridge, Montgomery County Commissioner Ken Lawrence agreed to meet with borough officials and tour the structure before Halloween. However, the municipality has not yet heard from Lawrence. "We're still waiting," Shagg said after the meeting.

            In other news, Burger King could be coming to the Pennsburg Square Shopping Center. At the beginning of the meeting, Diane Stevens announced that the company is in the process of submitting plans for a pad site at the center, located at 436 Pottstown Avenue.

            Following the public portion of the meeting, council held an executive session. The members discussed police personnel issues, according to Diane Stevens. No decisions were made according to a text message received later Tuesday night.





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