James Rada Jr.
(12/2010) After holding the borough tax rate level for the past eight years, the Fairfield Borough Council plans to increase it by 5 percent for 2011.
Under the new method of full value property assessments, a millage rate of 1.1011 would be equivalent to the current tax rate. However, the council has decided to raise the rate to 1.11561.
Councilor Carroll Smith said, "On average, you’re talking about (an increase of) $12 a house or $12 a unit."
Council believes the increase is necessary because the current budget barely covers the borough’s expenses and has no way to save for emergencies or cover unforeseen increases in expenses or decreases in revenue. In addition, they are expecting electric rates from MedEd to
increase 15 to 30 percent and an increase in rates for Columbia Gas, too.
Borough receives preliminary budget for 2011
The Fairfield Borough Council received its preliminary budget for 2011, the amount totaling $158, 610.
Police protection is the single largest item in the budget, accounting for 28 percent of it. Other large items in the budget include general town services and the borough secretary/treasurer. Donations and memberships to other organizations – fire, EMS, library, FREMA, HARB
and the SPCA – account for $12,760 of the budget. The budget also includes a 3 percent raise for the secretary/treasurer and a 2 percent increase for other workers.
Council expects to approve a final budget at it next meeting on Dec. 28 at 7 p.m. in the borough office.
Borough may tear down Indian schoolhouse
The Fairfield Borough Council may seek to have the old Indian schoolhouse torn down as a public nuisance if the property owner doesn’t repair it.
"It has deteriorated rapidly in the past year," Fairfield Council Dean Thomas said during the Nov. 23 meeting.
The roof is now leaking and most, if not all, of the windows have been broken. It is a gathering point for feral cats, which has also been causing a problem in the borough.
"It is soon going to become a nuisance, too," said Council President Patricia Smith. "It may already be."
If the council continues to have no luck getting a hold of the owner, it may pursue demolishing the building as a neglected property.
Plans form for 150th Civil War anniversary
The Fairfield Borough Civil War Sesquicentennial Committee has begun planning activities to be held next April as part of the state’s recognition of the anniversary. Among the ideas being worked on are a cavalry battle reenactment, a reenactment of Gen. J.E.B. Stuart’s
troops entering the borough and kidnapping the postmaster, a Civil War church service, a luminary along Main Street and the dedication of the Civil War trails marker in the borough.
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