CHAMBERSBURG – Last night’s final Chambersburg Borough Council meeting of the year began with a period of public comment in which multiple residents expressed their gratitude to Council members Alice Elia, Kathy Leedy, and Sharon Bigler, all of whom are stepping down from their positions. All three were praised for their previous contributions.
Following a subsequent approval of the consent agenda, the regular agenda was then addressed.
The main topic of the meeting the 2024 budget, which was approved by council, was presented by Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill. According to Stonehill, more than 400 people viewed the budget narrative posted on the borough’s website. This “record number of views” indicates strong public interest in the budget itself, which may be due to the fact that, while the real estate tax will remain the same, several fees are set to increase.
One such fee will support the ready-to-serve ambulance service, appearing as a surcharge on water service invoices. According to President Allen Coffman and Stonehill, this increase is necessary due to the importance of having a BLS ambulance service available to residents. Additionally, the 2024 budget includes increases in sanitation rates, electric rates, and water rates (by 3 cents per 74.8 gallons).
The official map was changed to include Wallington Boulevard off Norland Avenue. A portion of the Melvin Lesher Partnership Property at 1260 Stanley Avenue Extended was rezoned from low density residential to distributed commercial highway, while all land proposed for development through borough plan RE-1585 was rezoned from professional office to low density residential.
The council also authorized borough officials to conduct a professional services agreement with SGS Architects/Engineers of Carlisle to complete design specifications for a future public works campus at 366 Wayne Avenue. According to several present, this change of site is needed due to the fact that the current facility is in poor physical condition.
Several changes were made in response to matters discussed by the Parking, Traffic, and Street Light Committee on December 4, the most prominent being an increase of parking lot permit costs in downtown Chambersburg.
The meeting concluded with an approval of the master fee schedule updates, which will go into effect on January 1, 2024.