A sign is shown before entering the Borough of Charleroi.

On Thursday, Charleroi Council met to vote on the 2019 budget, which includes a tax increase.

Council voted unanimously to approve the $2.2 million budget. Mayor Edward Bryner was absent.

“We are way overdue for a tax increase. It’s been 20 years that I know of that we have not raised taxes,” said Council President Jerry Jericho.

Councilwoman Jeannine Motycki, who serves as finance chairwoman, said the budget includes a millage increase of 0.92 mills, raising the millage rate from 5.33 to 6.25. Motycki said the average home in Charleroi, according to tax collectors, is valued at about $47,000, which will result in roughly a $50 to $55 increase for residents.

Motycki said the last thing she has wanted over the last 20 years is a tax increase, but not raising taxes has put council in its situation. She said the borough will be entering into the state Department of Community and Economic Development’s Early Intervention Program, which council approved at its meeting earlier in December.

DCED works with municipalities that are experiencing financial difficulties to help them acquire matching grant funds for development and implementation of multiyear financial plans.

This program also helps these municipalities establish short- and long-term financial objectives.

Councilman Larry Celaschi said DCED is planning to meet with council on Thursday, Jan. 10.

Council noted that it will now be holding its meetings on Wednesdays.

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