Whitehall-Coplay Press

Friday, December 6, 2019

Coplay budget — with tax increase — in the works

Wednesday, November 20, 2019 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

At its Nov. 12 regular meeting, Coplay Borough Council began its end-of-the-year activities. A first reading of the budget was authorized.

The approval of the budget is scheduled for Dec. 23. The budget will be available for a detailed review on the borough’s website, coplayborough.org. The new budget includes a 0.7-mill increase, which will cost the average homeowner in Coplay an additional $98 per year.

Borough resident Melvin Procanyn suggested council raise the tax increase to 1.2 mills and keep the rate constant.

His idea was to raise an additional $100,000 to match a recreational grant to fund improvements at Saylor Park, a project that was postponed earlier this year. Then, in 2021 and beyond, put $100,000 toward a public works garage on Bridge Street.

Council was not in favor of the plan.

According to Councilman Charles Sodl, the borough has no idea what the costs will be for a new public works garage. The undefined cost limits an analysis until the costs can be firmed up.

In the interim, council will review an existing $1,500,000 loan. The borough has a borrowing limit of $3,500,000 and has a new firetruck that will be delivered in 2020. Sodl expects council will have a bid on the public works building by January 2020. The details would help direct spending in 2020.

Council reviewed an ongoing discussion on the use of the municipal gym by Coplay Sports. Richard Kern, who heads Coplay Sports and is a councilman-elect, is working to coordinate the 15 teams in the organization that are vying for use of the gym.

Council wishes to see the schedule available to accommodate paying customers. Coplay Sports uses the gym at no cost. Council added a provision that presented guidelines for Coplay Sports and its teams.

Council agreed to have scheduled free sessions on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Other days could be scheduled for paying customers. As Kern suggested, the sports teams can adjust their schedules if they are given at least 48 hours’ notice.

In other action, council appointed Faye Schreiner to an additional two-year term on the Coplay Public Library board.