Freeport sewage rates to jump 25 percent
Freeport Borough sewage rates will be jumping 25 percent next year, but real estate taxes and trash collection rates will be staying the same.
Council plans to give final approval Monday for a $603,000 budget that will keep the real estate tax rate at 13 mills.
That’s a drop of about $16,000 from this year’s spending program.
Police wages of $194,000 represent the biggest expenditure.
The minimum monthly sewage rate will be raised from $14.16 per month to $17.70.
Sewage customers will also see a $3 per month surcharge increase that officials say will be used to pay for engineering, construction and flow monitoring upgrades to the borough’s aging treatment plant.
The new sewage charges will go into effect Jan. 31.
Trash collection will remain at $12 per month.
Borough officials are concerned that the Freeport Area School District might be moving its varsity football games from the downtown facility to the high school campus in Buffalo Township.
Several borough officials attended a recent school board meeting where architects displayed seven plans for school district athletic facilities.
Three of the plans involved the borough’s field, which has hosted Freeport varsity football since 1940.
In one option, the district would demolish the junior high building, located next to the field and create parking spaces and build a field house/dressing room.
Mayor James Swartz Jr. said the borough could apply for state grants totalling up to $1 million to upgrade bleachers, restrooms and other amenities.
“We don’t need a Cadillac,” Swatrtz said. “If they would have come to us and told us what needed done, that’s what upsets me.”
“They never came to the borough for input,” said borough Treasurer Richard Hill.
Council President Don Rehner will write a letter telling the school district that the borough is still interested in hosting games.
In other business
• Council bought a new police car, a Chevrolet Impala, that cost about $21,600 through the South Hills Council of Governments.
Officials said the vehicle should be in service soon.
• Council will soon set a schedule of fees for occupancy permits, no lien letters, boat dock rentals and garage rentals.
George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.