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Gettysburg will cut taxes

The Gettysburg Borough Council has completed weeks of budget discussions with a proposal that slightly decreases the tax rate.

Borough Manager Charles Gable announced the new property tax rate would be 4.177 mills, which is .232 mills lower than the 2021 rate of 4.409 mills.  The occupation tax rate will remain at 30 mills and fire protection services appropriation rate will remain .25 mills.

Gable said the borough budget was in good shape with $2.5 million in general fund checking which he said is “actually a pretty good number.” Gable said the last 4 months have each had all-time record highs from parking income and that pillow tax levels were now comparable to 2018-2019 levels. 

Gable said the borough will end the year in a “strong position” and noted the borough had maintained its financial standing during the pandemic by cutting expenses by about $200,000.

Budget will be published for public comment from Nov. 29 to Dec. 13.

Borough President Wesley Heyser thanked his colleagues for a very cordial budget process saying “I really feel like we accomplished something.”

Council member Matt Moon said the borough manager and borough staff had “put together a comprehensive budget that does five key things:”

  • Replenishes and rebuilds cash reserves
  • Restores police and other staffing levels to historic levels
  • Expands the police budget by about 15 percent
  • Invests in a long-term capital improvement plan
  • Provides modest tax relief for borough taxpayers

The borough also heard the report of its auditor who had finished its independent examination of the borough’s records.  The borough received an “unmodified opinion” and the firm found no material misstatements. The audit also looked at the finances of the Gettysburg Municipal Authority and the Storm Water Authority.

Other Business

The borough announced that fall leaf pickup would not begin until after Thanksgiving this year because leaves were falling later than normal.

Sellers said Main Street Gettysburg was getting ready for the Christmas Festival and said there had been an “uptick in interest from tourists.”

The borough is moving ahead on the South Street project but needs and easement from the owner of 323 Baltimore St. to replace a metal storm pipe on the property. The borough said the owner had not been willing to grant the easement but explained it would to the owner’s benefit to do so as the borough would take over responsibility for maintenance of the pipe.  If the easement is not granted the borough plans to undertake the repairs via eminent domain.

The Shippensburg Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine project at the corner of Water and 4th Streets is moving forward and construction is scheduled to start soon.

Mayor Ted Streeter said Mayor Elect Rita Frealing had been attending local meetings with him and otherwise preparing for the job. “I’m including her on everything that’s going on to lessen the impact of the transition,” he said.

The borough said CSX would be closing the railroad crossing on 4th Street until Nov. 10 and that the Washington St. crossing would be close between Nov 10 and Nov 12. Pedestrian as well as vehicle traffic will be blocked.

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Charles Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Publisher and Editor in Chief.

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