To inform and hopefully leave with a smile.

Kittatinny City Faces Financial Setbacks

Posted by Starr Lee on February 29th, 2016

Today it was announced that the City of Kittatinny will be facing some tough budgeting cuts in hopes of recovering its financial stability. The city’s main employer, Susquehanna Steel Corp., Blast Furnace Unit 1 shut down causing the loss of 600 hundred jobs and sparking a financial crisis.

Mayor Gustavus G. Petykiewicz announced a budget plan that is sure to raise questions from the city council and community.

Petykiwicz has been talking with City Council President Denelda Penoyer in hopes of getting the proposal passed however, it will take 4 out of 7 votes from city council members to make any of the plans official.

During the press conference with Petykiwicz, he speaks on if the city tax rate was to hypothetically go up to 5 mills with a tax bill of $500 a year and increased tax by 25 percent. “By doing this, there would be enough money to take care of the financial possibilities however, Kittatinny is a working class city, says Petykiwicz.”

However, Petykiewiciz proposal now is to only raise tax rate from 4 mills to 4.3 mills.

One of the major cuts in the budget plan was police protection which will indeed cause a safety concern for many Kittatinny residents. According to the proposal, no officers will be on duty from 4 a.m. till noon each day.

When asked about his thoughts on this idea and whether it will promote more crime, Chief of Police, Roman Hruska responded “it’s a hate brained idea, I don’t know what the mayor was thinking and I cannot stand by and watch a city of this size be deprived of daily protection a third of each day.”

Bjarne Westhoff, president of Pennsylvania Police Association Local 34 was not too thrilled about it either calling the mayor’s idea “dumb.”

The police staff was not alone with their thoughts completely; Penoyer’s first thoughts on the budget plan was “some of them are unacceptable and won’t get through council.”

Penoyer also, weighed in on the possibility of taxes being raised to 5 million since it would help law enforcement keep their jobs but acknowledges the financial struggles residents are facing.

President of American Federation of State County and Municipal Local 644, Martha Mittengrabben states “there must be a spirit of shared sacrifice, pain is necessary.”

Penoyer also discusses the new Tohickon Creek Plaza and how it will add about 12 million dollars to citizen base and that “it is important to think about the future. “ There is a Trade Readjustment Allowance U.S. for people who want to get training in different fields.

This week, public hearings will be held for people to come and voice their concerns; also, send letters, email, and call.

Other proposals included in the plan was a drivable weed vehicle to help clean up the city to attract more tourists and bring in more money.

Residential Assessments will not expand until further notice due to possible problems with there being abandoned houses with people in town having no income.

A balanced budget must be approved by the council and signed into law by the mayor by March 31, 2016

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