Last updated: February 20. 2013 1:39AM - 233 Views

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Board seeks applicants to serve as supervisor

Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeffrey K. Box announced on Wednesday night the acceptance of letters of intent from qualified township residents to fill the unexpired term of Gary Mathers, who died Dec. 22.

The board held a moment of silence for the member who Box described as a wonderful neighbor and colleague.

Manager Katherine Sebastian said the general fund balance of $427,202 indicated the township was beginning the 2013 in good financial shape.

She also said the issuance date for property tax bills will be Jan. 31, as directed by Luzerne County in an effort to collect revenue in the year and as a response to last year's Centax debacle.

The board also approved a resolution requiring township police officers to contribute to the police pension fund at a rate of 5 percent.

The next meeting of the board of supervisors will be at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13.

Borough sees surplus; tax rate unchanged

While some neighboring communities are answering deficits with tax hikes and, on occasion, even starting the year in the red, Luzerne officials announced that they are holding the line on property taxes and even starting the year with a surplus.

During a financial review at Wednesday's council meeting, President Mike Jancuska announced that Luzerne ended 2012 with $28,675 more than the $1,092,704 that the borough had budgeted for the year. Additionally, the council officially set the property tax rate at 1.45 mills.

There are no specific plans for investing the $28,675 surplus, but Jancuska believes it will likely be spent as needed on infrastructure improvement.

In other matters, officials agreed with resident Rosetta Daniels' suggestion that the borough should continue to enhance the area that has become known as the Veteran's Memorial Park.

In 2009, after the closure of an American Legion building, the borough transported several monuments onto municipal property at the corner of Bennett and Academy streets. The memorial has steadily grown since then.

Recently, Mayor James Keller announced that he will be donating a tree. The town is also accepting donations for a sign and memorial benches.

The next regular council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 13.

B. Garret Rogan

Officials re-appointed; no hike made in taxes

Chairperson Gale Conrad, Vice Chairman Chris Kahurak and Roads Supervisor Joseph Yudichak were all re-appointed to their positions at Monday night's reorganization meeting, which preceded the regular monthly meeting.

Steven Gryzymski continues as administrator/treasurer/right-to-know officer. Also re-appointed were Robert Zarota, solicitor; Ray Evarts, roadmaster; Ronald Demchak, zoning officer/building inspector; Leonard Batrosiewicz, tax collector; Wayne Wolfe, flood plain administrator, and George Jones, code enforcement officer.

Berkheimer Associates will be the collector of the earned income tax at a commission of 1.485 percent.

The time and date of board meetings will remain 6 p.m. the first Monday of each month, unless the first Monday is a holiday, at which time the meeting will be the following evening. The supervisors also voted to keep the township as one district.

In other matters, the township's tax real estate tax remains at 1.386 mills. The sewer fee will be $56 per EDU. The earned income tax fee will be 1.5 percent, 1.4 percent for non-residents.

Property taxes rise from 1.25 to 1.45 mills

During its reorganization meeting Monday, the Board of Supervisors passed a resolution to increase the property tax from 1.25 to 1.45 mills.

The increase means that each household will pay roughly an extra $25 this year. A mill is a $1 tax on every $1,000 of assessed property value. All other taxes and fees will remain the same.

The board voted to reappoint Dave Sutton as chairman, Ray Iwanoski as vice chairman, Alvin Cragle as treasurer and Marian DeAngelis as secretary and right-to-know officer.

In a response to a question during the regular meeting, Cragle said the energy savings in the newly renovated municipal building is roughly 25 to 35 percent. The $180,000 project was funded by a federal energy efficiency grant.

The next board meeting will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 18 after a public hearing at 6 p.m. about abandoned roads near the Lake Silkworth area.

Geri Gibbons Susan Bettinger Camille Fioti

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