Chambersburg Borough Council will talk reassessment and zoning tonight

January 8 – Chambersburg Borough Council will have their first official meeting for 2024 tonight at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at 100 South Second Street. 

Last week was the reorganizational meeting, where Allen Coffman was reelected president of Borough Council. 

The agenda for tonight’s meeting isn’t terribly long, but there are some important issues. 

One concerns the tax rolls for the county. 

Coffman said, “The item as it appears on the agenda is to authorize the Council President to issue correspondence to the Franklin County Commissioners requesting that they undertake a comprehensive reassessment of real estate in Franklin County. That’s not been done since 1962. Out of 67 counties, we’re the longest standing one that has not had a reassessment done.”

Anthony Panasiewicz of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “It’s been 12 presidential administrations, it’s been over 50 years since that has happened. I am somebody who’s not a native but just the development in the last five years, even all of the changes in the county in the last five years and how that directly impacts the millage that you guys have to deal with.”

Coffman said, “Just a quick note, I think we did some quick checking here to see when some of our neighboring counties might have done reassessments recently. It looks like Cumberland County did it in 2010. Adams did it in 1990. Dauphin was 2001. York was 2006. Lancaster 2018. And again, Franklin 1962. So it’s a glaring thing there. Not that we’re pointing fingers at anybody, but something that needs to be done for the matter of fairness to all the taxpayers.”

Panasiewicz said, “It just needs to get done for the betterment of the let’s say the people downstream like you guys.”

Coffman added, “When you look at it, and we’ve said this before, out of the real estate tax, if you live in Chambersburg, we’re getting 17 cents of your tax dollar. That’s what we run our government on, 17 cents of the real estate tax dollar.”

Another discussion point on the agenda tonight is zoning in the borough.  

Coffman said, “As you remember, we went through doing a new comprehensive plan, it was called the 2035 Plan and actually Planning and Zoning will get a chance to look at it, we’re going to refer it back to them to look at some zoning issues, what may need to be changed in in zoning and so forth. I think it’ll probably be months until they review it all. There’s a lot in there and they’ll look at zoning districts and so forth, and whether things need to be changed about what are in certain zoning districts. So it’ll take a while to do that. But in the meantime, they’re still doing the other planning and zoning functions that they have to do to look at new plans and so forth. There’s a lot of things that they can look at and deliberate over, and I think that they will. We’ve got a good planning and zoning crew. So they’ll give it due diligence.”

The open seat on the borough council will also be discussed. David Beltz Sr. resigned before the reorganization meeting due to health issues. He was elected in the November election to represent the Fourth Ward. 

Coffman said, “The advertisement has been put out. (Applications) are due the 18th of January at four o’clock, to be in the offices of the borough secretary, either via email or hardcopy.”

Applicants have to be a resident of the Fourth Ward in the Chambersburg Borough for a minimum of one year. 

Coffman said, “They have to be at least 18 years old. They have to be a registered voter. So what we’re looking for is a resume from people that are interested and they do have to be registered voters. So we’ll see what comes in. I don’t know.”

Awards will also be presented tonight. 

Coffman said, “Hopefully we will have some retirees and some departing council members that will come to this evening’s meeting for their awards. We have awards to give out to people that have retired and council members that have served. Tonight is the night that is set aside to honor those people and also the borough employees that have retired.”

For tonight’s agenda, click here:  http://www.borough.chambersburg.pa.us/pdf/Public%201-8-2024%20Council%20Meeting%20Agenda.pdf