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Officials expect to raise taxes in Verona

| Sunday, Oct. 15, 2006

Verona borough officials say they expect to hit homeowners with a tax increase for 2007.

At this week's council meeting, the borough officials said there are several factors in the upcoming tax increase. Among those are the hiring of a new building inspector, repairing Verona's century-old sewer system and increasing the size of the police force.

The property tax rate is 6.45 mills. Council couldn't say how much of an increase residents can expect, as budget discussions are in early stages and members haven't yet met to review all of the borough's needs.

Several residents told council they appreciate the police department's proactive stance on crime prevention.

After citizens complained about the police in the summer, officers started walking their routes instead of driving. Police presence around Cribb's Field and the schools has increased.

"They are very on the ball," said borough resident Michelle Voith. She said if the borough hires additional full-time patrolmen, it should consider current part-timer officers, Pat Laughlin and Christopher Veze, for the jobs.

Council has discussed adding full-time police officers, and many residents are pushing for the additions to the police force.Council said the issue of how many additional officers to hire will be a major part of this year's budget discussions.

Councilman Stanley Adamski said he has received positive feedback from residents near Cribb's Field who said the extra visibility is very welcome. The police presence, he said, keeps people in line.

"I have seen the police officers on foot a lot," said resident Sandy Bell. "It's very good to see, and we (the community) very much appreciate it."

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