November 20 – Over the last few weeks, the Chambersburg Borough Council has been digging into the 2024 budget and it’s been out for public review for a while now.
It looks like it will be approved at the December 11th meeting.
Allen Coffman, borough council president, said, “I really think we’re at this point in time that there’ll be no more changes. I think it’s really done.”
There will be no real estate tax increase.
Coffman said, “That should make a lot of people happy. The other discussion item was the ambulance fee going up from $9.50 a month to $11 a month – and that still doesn’t balance the budget incidentally. The water rate will go up $.03 a unit and a unit is just short of 75 gallons, so I think it was projected that would be about $2.25 a month increase for the average household. The electric rate was probably the big item and it didn’t really get much discussion. Everybody’s electric rate will go up but the average it works out to be is 11.3 percent. That’s probably equivalent to one of the three raises that companies outside of Chambersburg have taken over the last year or so.”
Other electric providers have been bumping their rates for a while now.
Coffman pointed out, “Actually, that’s the first rate increase we’ve taken in a decade on electric rates in Chambersburg. So that may be the reason we haven’t heard a whole lot about it.”
The sanitation rates and storm sewer pollution control rates will also go up.
Coffman said, “Just in limited cases, where people were getting, I think it was a 30 percent discount we were doing whether people did their updates to control pollution more. Now if they haven’t done those improvements, they’ll pay the full rate. So other than that everybody’s ready to say the same at $5.”
The police budget, the fire budget, and public works budget will stay the same.
Coffman noted, “The other thing I think, to kind of cap it all off, of the real estate taxes, property tax burden to the people here in Chambersburg, 17 cents of each dollar paid on real estate taxes goes to the borough. For comparison, in the school district, they get 67 cents of every dollar and they bill separately, but they get 67 cents of every dollar. So I think we do a magnificent job maintaining what we’ve done and to have utilities that work as well as they do. I couldn’t be happier with our utilities.”
The borough will see a change in the voting areas in the district.
Coffman said, “That’s been submitted now to Franklin County, both to the board of elections and also to the court for their approval. So we’ll see when that comes back. I’m not sure when it’ll be, but it’ll be some time over the next couple of months.”
There will be other meetings in the beginning of December, including Parking, Traffic and Streetlight Committee and Planning and Zoning.
Coffman said, “Happy Thanksgiving to everybody. I guess that’ll happen before we talk next time.”