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Shoemakersville Borough Council was busy at its Dec. 4 meeting as it approved an increase in sewer rates, adopted a budget for 2013 and kept property tax rates and water rates flat.
Regarding sewer rates, residents will continue to pay a $75 minimum, but will see an increase to $5 from $4.50 per 1,000 gallons used exceeding the 11,000 gallon mark.
Commercial rates will remain at a $90 minimum, but rates will increase to $5.50 from $5 per 1,000 gallons used over the 9,000 gallon mark.
Industrial rates will remain at a $105 minimum, but rates increase to $6 from $5.50 per 1,000 gallons exceeding the 7,000 gallon mark.
A $1.6 million budget was adopted for 2013 and property taxes will remain at 5.5 mills.
A property assessed at $100,000 will have a $550 property tax bill.
There was no increase in water rates for 2013. Residential, commercial and industrial customers will continue to pay a $25 minimum plus $12 per 1,000 gallons.
In other news, council adopted an ordinance to permit schools within a residential (R-1) district.
This will allow the Hamburg Area School District to build an elementary school in the borough.
Solicitor Keith Mooney said that Reber Street, from Fourth to Fifth streets, has been officially vacated, a step that is needed to build the school. Plans to move utilities from that area can now begin, architect Philip Leinbach said.
Construction is scheduled to begin once the school year is completed in May.
In other news, council adopted an updated version of the borough’s burn ordinance.
“The (previous) ordinance needed to be updated in accordance with the DEP’s (Department of Environmental Protection) rules and regulations,” Mooney said. “This ordinance is less accommodating. Rubbish cannot be burned.
“What was permitted under the former ordinance would not allow the borough to be eligible for grants. The DEP enforces it and the fire marshal has joint enforcement power.”
Council met in executive session to discuss employee pensions. No details were available.
Councilman Clark Zimmerman was absent. One seat on council remains vacant.
The next council meeting is Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. at St. Luke’s Church.