HONESDALE – Council adopted a resolution to request a Local Share Account grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority for a stormwater project on Blake's Creek. The requested amount is $366,070.

Council also approved committing $25,040.88 in funds for the project.

Council also discussed the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) it is seeking to cover projects including the paving of Commercial Street and Old Willow Avenue, as well as for flashing beacon lights for Main and Church streets.

Department of Public Works director Rich Doney explained he'd like to get the current projects, including the flashing lights on Main and Church, within the next two years.

Council also expressed concern over not receiving previous CDBG funds for 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Secretary Judy Poltanis explained the current application includes a page listing the previous years projects, inquiring on the status of those funds.

“We had priority projects back in 2013 that are now becoming emergency projects for Rich because the money has not been released,” said Poltanis.

 

Other business

• Council adopted the 2017 budget. The tax rates increased by 5.2 percent.

“Again this is an approximately 5.2 percent tax increase for this year, which is more than I'd like to see but it's actually not as much as we really do need for the future,” said President Mike Augello. “It's a compromise at best. I wish that we did not have to do it but we cannot continue operating at capacity [without the increase].”

Councilman Jeremy Ebert pointed out changes to the spending plan.

There was a $50 increase per month for janitorial services in the borough hall.

He also discussed the Highmark Health Insurance renewal, which cites an increase of 15 percent. The vision plan went down 2.5 percent. Ebert stated that council could research other options for health insurance. He said he'd look into it before the next meeting.

Bill Canfield cast the lone dissenting vote regarding the budget.

• Attorney Morris Raub, representing Smoking Joe's Tobacco Shop, submitted a request for a hearing on the inter-municipal transfer of a liquor license. The hearing is scheduled for Dec. 14th at 6 p.m.

• Council voted to appoint Rainey & Rainey Certified Public Accountants to perform the 2016 general audit not to exceed $6,600.