Hawley Borough Council will use their meeting pay instead of increasing taxes for the ambulance and fire companies, while raising taxing to offset an expected increase in utilities next year.


Hawley Borough Council will use their meeting pay instead of increasing taxes for the ambulance and fire companies, while raising taxing to offset an expected increase in utilities next year.
Council approved the preliminary budget totaling $355,500 which increases taxes from 2.5 to 2.65 mills. Council Member Joseph Fauble, chairman of the finance committee, explained that with the rate caps coming off the electric utilities next year, the Borough was expecting an increase of 20 to 30 percent in utility costs.
Fauble said they were not expecting an increase in the assessed value of the property in Hawley, so no new income was estimated from that source.
He said they were trimming some items to cover increases in other areas. He added they were still looking to cut expenses.
Fauble apologized to the representatives of the Hawley Fire Department and Hawley Ambulance Corps for not including increases they had requested this year. He explained the Council felt residents couldn’t afford tax increases in two areas this year.
He said the increase amounts to $13 per household based on the 698 properties in the Borough. “Some people can’t afford more than that,” he said.
The Fire Department and Ambulance Corps will be getting a little extra money this year, however, since the Council and Mayor have agreed to give their meeting pay to the two organizations.
Fauble explained the Council and new mayor will take $1 in January and the remaining salaries will go toward the EMS services in lieu of the tax increase the organizations requested. The total is $2,500, Fauble said, which will be split between Hawley Fire and Hawley Ambulance.
Council Member Mary Sanders said the total from their salaries equals what the fire department and ambulance corps requested.
The budget will be voted on at the Dec. 9 meeting.
Hawley Borough Council meets at 7 p.m. the second Wednesday of each month in Borough Hall.