Elizabethtown Borough sign

When: Elizabethtown Borough Council meeting, Nov. 5.

What happened: By unanimous vote, council approved a proposed budget for 2021 with no tax increase, with taxes remaining at 4.6 mills. Members throughout the budget process maintained a firm commitment to holding the line on taxes and spending. After passage, council President J. Marc Hershey thanked staff and officials for their hard work in balancing the budget in such a challenging year.

What’s ahead: An increase in sewer rates for next year can be expected, as well as a likely millage rate increase, Hershey said. In addition, the borough’s renovation of the 56 N. Market St. property (twice delayed because of the pandemic) and its current municipal headquarters, may require additional borrowing.

Background: Income shortfalls due to the COVID-19 pandemic were significant, officials said. But better-than-expected real estate transfer taxes, as well as state and federal relief money for the coronavirus, meant that council needed to transfer only $197,000 to the general operating fund and $3,000 to the parks fund from its strategic reserve.

GEARS agreement: Council unanimously approved a series of agreements between Greater Elizabethtown Recreation & Community Services and other regional member municipal agencies to fund and support the organization for another five years. A memorandum of understanding between the borough and other members commits them each to $15,000 annual support.

Holiday parking: Between Nov. 14 and Jan. 3, parking in the downtown business district will remain free. Since mid-March the borough has not enforced metered parking as means of supporting businesses struck by COVID-19 limitations. This move extends that moratorium through the rest of the year. The borough has traditionally cooperated with the Elizabethtown Area Chamber of Commerce to bag parking meters during the holidays.

Traffic: Council unanimously approved granting right of way to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to relocate a utility pole at the intersection of Linden Avenue and North Market Street as part of a project to widen the right turn lane heading north on North Market Street toward Londonderry Township.

What’s next: Council will hear public comment on the proposed budget at 7 p.m. Nov. 19 and approve the final budget on Dec. 3. The budget is available for public inspection at borough offices at 600 N. Hanover St.

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