Kittatinny Budget Proposal

The town of Kittatinny released Mayor’s, Gustavous Petykiewicz proposed budget for the 2016 year. Monday morning, four officials were on hand to answer questions the towns people had about Kittatinny’s stressful economic situation that will take effect January 1 of next year.

 

Kittatinny took a big hit in the local economy when one of the two Susquehanna Steel Corporations closed down business. Mayor Petykiewicz stresses the fact that we can no longer rely one large industrial employer. He says, “We will begin to diversify our economy.”

 

The town will need to find another way to produce revenue for the town and also employ the 600 people who lost their jobs. Petykiewicz sympathizes with the residence that lost their jobs but says, “We must balance our budget in Kittatinny.”

 

The first major tax increase in the proposed budget was raising the city tax rate from 4 mills to 4.3 mills. This would ultimately raise the tax on a $100,000 house from $400 to $430.

 

The mayor urged the people of Kittatinny to call in and voice their opinion on the tax increase saying he would raise it to as much as 5 mills. “I’m really reluctant to talk about a tax increase of $100 a year when 600 citizens have lost a really good paying job.”

 

President of city council, Denelda Penoyer, says she has talked to the mayor about a large tax increase.

 

The mayor proposed to freeze his salary and the other officials, but was asked about taking a pay decrease for the sake of the rough times. “Given the state of trouble that we are in, if other state officials would be willing to take a pay cut then I would as well,” says Mayor Petykiewicz. “I’ll throw out a figure, lets say 10 percent”

 

With the town struggling to produce money, the Mayor proposes to spend more in Parks Department. A drivable weed-removal vehicle for the city beach at White Deer Lake, and a combination dump truck/snow plow for the city Street Department are proposed to be renewed.

 

A major point of emphasis for the Mayors future plan was attracting tourists to this beautiful place of Northern Pennsylvania. “People will not want to go in the lake if there are weeds everywhere,” says Mayor Petykiewicz.

 

A proposal that has a lot of people in the town worried is the reduction in full-time Kittatinny police force from 10 officer to eight (not including chief). As a result of this proposal, police early shift (4 a.m. to noon) will no longer be staffed by Kittatinny officers.

 

Chief of Police Roman Hruska was not happy about the proposed cut and was prepared with a quote, “I cannot stand idly by and watch a city of this size be deprived of city police protection for a third of each day.”

 

Hruska brings up the fact, “The most dangerous encounter for a police officer is domestic violence and it is the kind of situation that is so unpredictable during the day.” “I don’t know what the mayor was smoking when he came up with this plan.”

 

Bjarne Westhoff, president of Pennsylvania Police Association Local 34 says, “chief of police and mayor seem like they have personal issues with each other that need to get resolved.”

 

The mayor also proposed the garbage pickup to be taken off the tax levy. Therefore it will be charge to the residence monthly on the water bill.

 

“Your garbage will still be picked up in the morning the same way. The only difference is that there will be a $30 increase each month on the water bill,” says Mayor Petykiewicz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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