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Freeport council seeks new bank

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By Kate Wilcox
Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, 1:01 a.m.

Freeport Borough officials are looking for a new bank to occupy the vacuum that will be left by PNC Bank in February.

Council President Donald Rehner said that the borough received a call from Farmers & Merchants Bank showing interest in setting up a branch in Freeport.

PNC will retain ownership of the property at the corner of High and Fifth streets after it leaves, but Rehner said that he has heard Farmers & Merchants could open a temporary branch in a double-wide trailer elsewhere in the borough.

PNC has said will keep an ATM running at its Freeport location for at least 6 months after it closes.

Rehner also wrote a letter to PNC asking the bank to reconsider its decision.

“I'll pursue everything to meeting with PNC to keep it open,” he said.

“And I'll also recruit another bank.”

The borough is also slightly over budget on the $3,500 Christmas light fund.

The lights should be up in the borough by next week.

“It's been a long, grueling process,” Rehner said. “It may end up with the total being more than what we have in the Christmas light capital reserve fund. But I want to get it done.”

Also, the borough is considering leasing several parking spaces in the 300 block of Market Street for about $15 a month. Council recently discovered that it owns a lot on the street.

Rehner said that the borough would wait to make a decision until it determines how many spaces could be available.

No tax increase

The borough's $520,000 budget is available for review. There will be no tax increase and real estate tax will remain at 13 mills.

The sewage and trash rates will remain the same, but the sewage surcharge will increase to $10 a month from $5 a month.

Meeting not public

The Dec. 13 meeting of several council members and some Freeport Area School Board members will not be a public meeting, as previously stated.

Council and the school board will discuss what to do with the junior high school and kindergarten properties when they close as part of the district's building and renovation program.

The meeting is not public, Rehner said, because there will not be a majority of members present from either board.

“There will be plenty of time for public meetings,” said borough treasurer Richard G. Hill Jr. “If anybody has ideas, please approach council during the day, and we can use that information gathering.”

Kate Wilcox is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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