Loss of leaf vacuuming stirs protests
Take last week, for example, when the Borough Council held a hearing on this year’s municipal budget which will present property owners with a 3.96% tax hike.
A standing room only audience of about 200 never blinked or Nike Adidas Shoes protested the tax increase. Instead, their public comments focused on the elimination of leaf vacuuming to be replaced by mandatory bagging in disposable bags.
Prior to a presentation by Councilman Michael Gennaro, Councilman J. Brooke Hern took issue with several cuts in services including the loss of vacuuming.
Mr. Hern favored the continuation of vacuuming and said the resulting savings amounted to $11 on an annual basis to an average home.
Mr. Gennaro and Mayor John Thoms responded that the $40,000 represented out of pocket expenses and didn’t include about $100,000 in direct labor costs. The additional savings would result from the announced layoffs of two Public Works employees.
Residents who regard vacuuming of leaves as a rite of fall aki Nike Adidas Shoes n to witches, goblins, turkey and pumpkin pie were outspoken about the hardships the loss of vacuuming would bring.
One residen Nike Adidas Shoes t who lives in an especially wooded area said he hated fall and the resulting leaves. “This will place a large burden on me,” he said.
Several additional residents complained about increased expenses from the purchase of disposable bags or employing the services of a landscaper.
Still other residents complained that a wet fall would weaken disposable bags that would break open during pick up causing an unsightly mess. “Is the borough planning on providing us with disposable bags?” one resident asked.
Resident Larry Corsi recommended attaching a mulcher to the lawn mower. “I’ve been doing it for years,” he added.
Councilman Gennaro who is a member of the Finance Committee said the borough had to work within a state mandated framework that caps increases to 4%. “We don’t want to inconvenience taxpayers, but we had no choice,” he added.
Mr. Gennaro said the borough faced several challenges in preparing this year’s budget. He cited a loss of rev Nike Adidas Shoes enue from commercial and industrial tax appeals; a reduction in state aid; increases in pension contributions and health care premiums, and wage increases for previously negotiated union contracts.
Reductions in this year’s budget total almost $464,000. The largest reduction ($262,000) came from staff reductions including two layoffs, one by outsourcing and three by attrition. Only one of two planned police cars will be purchased resulting in a $25,000 savings and non essential street lights will be turned off ($10,000).