Marietta Borough may implement a fire tax to make up for a shortfall in the fire department’s budget.
Council discussed enacting a 0.9 mill or a 1 mill fire tax at their monthly meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 10. This would create a 0.75 overall increase for taxpayers in the borough.
The increase would allow $10,000 for a new tanker truck and $15,000 for emergencies, council President Bridey Hannold said.
The tanker truck is a necessity, according to Pioneer Fire Company No. 1 Fire Chief Brandon Smith.
But not all of those in attendance agreed with the idea of a fire tax. Some of the firefighters were worried it would hurt participation in their other much-needed fundraisers, especially for their building.
“My concern is by doing the fire tax, there’s going to be people that are less likely to donate to the fund drive,” Smith said. “I mean, just on Saturday, we had 300 chickens, and we had about 60, 70 left over at the end of the day. So, right now, the support isn’t there.”
Council will now forward the proposed fire tax ordinance to their solicitor for review. The millage rate will then be decided, and it will be advertised to the public.
Hannold also said the fire department may need to have a discussion with council in the event that, even after the tax increase, they do not have enough money to operate.
Also at the meeting, council member Harold Kulman presented findings from a study done on the traffic on Route 441 in Marietta.
He said during the study, finding concluded most car crashes occurred between noon and 8 p.m., with Wednesday being the day most accidents happened in the borough.
Kulman said 48 percent of crashes involved cars rear-ending vehicles at stop lights. He said 22 percent were accidents with fixed objects, such as fences, signs and trees.
The Public Safety Committee will now use the findings to figure out ways to try to prevent crashes.
The next monthly meeting of the Marietta Borough Council will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 113 E. Market St. in Marietta.