The Elizabethtown Borough Council voted unanimously to adopt a proposed budget for 2020 and advertise a maximum tax rate for 2020 of 4.8 mills.
The vote taken at the council workshop on Thursday, Nov. 7, sets an upper limit for 2020 taxes. After the maximum tax rate is advertised, the borough can decide later to adopt a lower rate, but not a higher one. The 2019 rate was 4.4 mills, which means a tax of $440 for every $100,000 of assessed value. The maximum rate of 4.8 mills means borough real estate taxes in 2020 will be no more than $480 for every $100,000 of assessed value.
In other business, councilors reviewed a proposed fee schedule update to be voted on at their Nov. 21 meeting. Among other things, fees are changing for collection of lost dogs to comply with polices from the Lancaster animal shelter run by the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Police Chief Ed Cunningham said borough police can scan dogs to check them for microchips, so it is a good idea to get dogs microchipped to get them returned home quickly and to avoid fees from the animal shelter.
Cunningham said Officers Christopher R. Good and Brooke K. English, who began work in July, have completed their field training and are now patrolling unaccompanied by field training officers. Cunningham said that during training, the new officers were each being trained by one experienced officer, but he said the entire force is training them now.
“I now have 15 officers responsible for them,” Cunningham said.
He noted that both officers had made quick work of getting through a training book that is four to five inches thick.
“There were no extensions, no remediation … You guys did a good job picking,” Cunningham told the Borough Council.