The city of Kittatiny will be hit hard this coming year if the mayor’s budget proposal goes through.
Along with the shutdown of Sesquehanna Steel, Mayor Gustavus Petykiewicz wants to lay off employees and cut hours. He plans to lay off two police officers and two workers from city hall, belonging to AFCME.
“The layoffs need to be done, but I’m not happy about it,” the mayor said.
Parking fees will be hit as well, with an increase of 60 percent on the parking meters on Main Street. Police officials are encouraged to write more parking tickets as well, despite layoffs in the department.
The mayor is asking Schuylkill County sheriffs to handle emergency calls for the shift of 4 a.m. – noon as that shift will be eliminated in Kittatinny. Chief of Police, Roman Hruska is not happy with this saying, “we cannot deal with part time work in this city.”
One major part of his proposal is the elimination of the tax levy on garbage pickup. The tax rate will increase, tacking on nearly $187,000 for that service.
Petykiewicz said he would consider taking a reasonable pay cut to cope with the hard times. Chief of Police, Roman Hruska says he would be willing to take a 10 percent pay cut and encourages all other union employees to do the same, including the mayor.
It is rough on the people who have lost their jobs to pay taxes. Some might not pay because it is not fair and they don’t agree.
An added expense to the budget from last year is a 15.5 percent increase in Asphalt. Main street is looking pretty bad and needs to be repaved according to Petykiewicz.
A new police cruiser for next year is needed for next year. The one they have now is almost unable to operate.
The mayor assured there needs to be two cars on the scene at all times. There are currently three cars including the almost broken one but there if one goes into the shop it could take some time to be fixed.
This provides a nice safety blanket.
The new cruiser won’t be cheap, cost over $50,000. It isn’t cheap but Petykiewicz assures everyone saying, “we’re all in this together.”
The beach needs some help to keep up tourism dollars, visitors and its reputation. This won’t be easy but something needs to change in this city in the next year