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From the Desk of Carroll Valley Mayor Ron

(12/11) On Tuesday, November 15th, the Borough Council met and approved the advertisement of the proposed 2012 Budget. This action made the proposed 2012 Budget available for residents review prior to its final adoption at the December 13th meeting. The 2012 Budget is the end-product of a four step review process over a three month period. The first review is performed by the Borough Manager when analyzing the Borough Department submissions. The second review is performed by the Finance Committee. The third and fourth reviews are performed by the Borough Council during their two Budget Workshops.

At the November meeting, the public is given the opportunity to review the proposed budget. This budget predicts total revenues of $1,753,807 and an expenditure of $1,745,846 leaving a balance of $7,961 in the black. The tentative budget is based on a millage rate of 2.45 mills that is 24.5 cents on each one hundred dollars of assessed valuation. The current 2011 millage rate is 1.7436 mills. A paper copy of the preliminary budget can be reviewed at the Borough office. I have been told that an online version will be available by going to the Carroll Valley Borough website at www.carrollvalley.org.

It was been over a year since I attended the funeral for Pennsylvania Wildlife Conservation Officer David Grove. He was killed on November 11, 2010 in the line of duty while investigating a poaching incident in Freedom Township. It reminded me that all those who serve us in uniform do so at the risk of their own life. They belong to a brotherhood that shares the ideals of professionalism, honor and pride. I want to thank all those in uniform who serve us here and overseas.

On November 10, 2011, the Pennsylvania Game Commission announced that a scholarship fund has been created in the name of Officer Grove to benefit future wildlife management leaders. The scholarship is being administered by the Conservation Officers of Pennsylvania Association and the Fraternal Order of Police, Conservation Police Officers Lodge #114. To be eligible for the scholarship, an individual must be a full-time undergraduate student who is a junior, and majoring in Wildlife and Fisheries Science in the College of Agricultural Sciences, or to a student with a senior academic standing majoring in Wildlife Technology at Penn State University DuBois campus.

Around this time of year, the question always comes up whether someone can hunt in Carroll Valley. To clarify the rules, Carroll Valley cannot by law change state law regarding hunting; however, current state rules make legal hunting in Carroll Valley difficult. Pennsylvania has what are called "Safety Zones". In a safety zone, it is unlawful to hunt for, shoot at, trap, take, chase or disturb wildlife within 150 yards of any occupied residence, camp, industrial or commercial building, farm house or farm building, or school or playground without the permission of the occupants. It is unlawful to shoot into a safety zone, even if you are outside of the zone. Driving game, even without a firearm or bow, within a safety zone without permission is unlawful. For comparison, think of a safety zone as about one and a half football fields. Hunting on hospital and institutional grounds, and in cemeteries, is also prohibited. It is unlawful to discharge a firearm within 150 yards of a Game Commission vehicle whose occupants are releasing pheasants.

The safety zone for archery hunters statewide, including those using crossbows, is 50 yards. Archery hunters carrying muzzleloaders during any muzzleloader season must abide by the 150-yard safety zone regulation. Around playgrounds, schools, nursery schools or day-care centers, the safety zone remains 150 yards. For further information, refer to www.pgc.state.pa.us . As Carroll Valley has grown over the years, it is more and more difficult to find a location outside these safety zones. Should you think someone is hunting too close to a residence, you can call the Pennsylvania Game Commissionís Dispatch Center in Huntington at (814) 643-1831 and an officer will check for violations. If you see persons hunting from vehicles or after dark, call County Dispatch at 717-334-8101 or 9-1-1 to get the quickest response."

Borough meetings to be held in December are: Planning Commission (Dec 5th), Public Safety Committee (Dec 12th), Council Borough (Dec 15th), and Parks/Recreation (Dec 28th). The Borough Office will be closed December 23rd and Dec 26th. The Carroll Valley Citizens Association (CVCA) is inviting everyone to come to the "Tree Lighting" on Dec 2nd at 6:00 pm at the Carroll Valley Commons. St. Maryís Christmas Bake Sale will be held on Dec 3rd from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm at 256 Tract Road, Fairfield. Be sure to bring the kids to the Fairfield Fire House to attend the CVCA event "Breakfast with Santa" on December 10th from 8:00 am to 11:00 am. I believe Santa is scheduled to arrive at 9:00 am.

Please reduce your speed and make sure you, your loved ones, your friends and neighbors will be able to enjoy the holiday season. If you have any questions call me at (301) 606-2021 or email me at mayor@carrollvalley.org. Happy New Year!

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