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Valley News Dispatch

Taxes, streets, personnel to be front and center at Apollo's council meeting

Mary Ann Thomas
| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, 7:33 p.m.

Some Apollo residents say borough council’s proposed 50 percent property tax hike is too steep — but they do want their roads fixed.

“I walk with my head down when I walk on the streets because they are so bad,” resident Aleen Kerr said.

“Nothing is going to get done in this town,” she said.

If a massive tax increase goes through, Kerr added, “it will be a ghost town.”

Borough council will take a preliminary vote on the 2019 budget during their meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday.

They also could discuss hiring an auditor and solicitor since the men in those positions resigned in the last week.

The proposed budget includes a nearly 50 percent property tax hike that will pay for increased expenses, including money to repair borough roads.

The 2019 budget also calls for the controversial elimination of the borough manager’s position and the addition of a full-time police officer.

Within days of council voting to eliminate the position of borough manger, who runs the day-to-day operations of the borough, the solicitor and auditor submitted letters of resignation.

Residents have been buzzing about the new budget, resignations and manager’s position, according to Becky Reese, a resident and a bartender at the Chambers Hotel in Apollo.

A prospective 50 percent property tax hike is huge, she said.

“This isn’t a real rich town,” she said. “The tax increase is too much.”

All agree, though, the roads need to be fixed.

Many of the borough’s roads have not recovered from the construction phase of the $7 million stormwater/sewage separation project, which was completed in 2011.

Reese’s complaint is that there has been talk about fixing the roads for years — without any action.

“I know a mechanic that told someone they will have to move out of here because the roads were going to ruin their car,” she said.

A final budget vote is planned for council’s Dec. 13 meeting.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary Ann at 724-226-4691, mthomas@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib.

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