The Chambersburg Service Center is always ready to help

January 15 – With technology all around us, sometimes it’s refreshing to be able to talk to an actual person when you make a phone call. 

The Chambersburg Service Center provides exactly that. 

The number is 717-263-4111. 

Allen Coffman, borough council president said, “There’s a live person there 24 hours a day. You don’t have to choose one or two or five or whatever on your keyboard. Somebody’s going to pick it up and talk to you.”

If there is a utility outage or an issue with a traffic signal or street sign, you can give that number a call. 

Applications for a seat on borough council to represent the Fourth Ward will close on January 19. 

The person elected in November opted out of serving due to health concerns. 

Coffman said applicants should be “18 years old, a registered voter, and have to live in a Fourth Ward for at least a year.”

The next borough council meeting will be on January 22. 

Coffman said, “That’s I think when we’re going to fill this vacancy, we’ve got in the Fourth Ward. The decision will be made at the meeting at night. We’ll be interviewing people. Whoever’s put in for it, they’ll get a chance to talk to council. We can ask them questions and find out a little bit more about them.”

The vote will likely be made in public that night. 

Coffman said, “We’ve done it before. We did it actually with Stacy as I remember. She came and talked to us and was selected through that same thing. If you don’t do it in a certain allotted time then you get outside entities involved with it and that makes it a little more cumbersome.”

The subject of the county assessment could come up again in council. Franklin County hasn’t had a reassessment done since 1962.

Coffman said, “I listened to County Commissioner Flannery’s remarks concerning this reassessment. One of the things he said, well, why do we want it? Well, he answered his own question. He said we wanted it because we want to raise taxes. So my question would be, why didn’t we raise our taxes in the last two years? We didn’t raise it for 2024. We didn’t raise it for 2023. The other statement he made that the reason people want this is because they’re maxed out on their millage. Well to the best of my knowledge, there’s no municipality in Franklin County that’s maxed out on a millage. The highest one I’m aware of right now is Shippensburg, and they’re at 27 and we’re at 25. So there’s still headroom there. If we wanted to take a tax increase, we would have put it in the budget for 2024. I look back and think about 1962. That’s before I graduated from high school. The county was much different in 1962 than what it is today. I mean, there’s more housing here now. There’s less orchards, less farming here now. It’s changed a lot.”

Last week, the borough council voted to send a letter to the Franklin County Commissioners to consider another reassessment. 

Coffman explained, “We generated a letter which was just distributed last Friday to the various municipalities, as well as the county commissioners. They got it. I know they received it because I saw that Carrie Gray had read it. We’re anxious to hear what they have to say. The other thing that (Flannery) made the comment about was he says older people get a tax increase. I don’t know how he could know that because the study that I’ve done of it, it seems like people that are in older homes probably get some tax relief and the people in the newer homes are the ones that usually get an increase. So it works out a third, a third and a third basically. A third goes down, a third stays the same and a third goes up.”