Milford Holds Line On Taxes; No Raises For Boro Workers
MILFORD — Milford Borough approved its 2017 budget at the regular Borough Council meeting Monday, Dec. 5, offering good news for the taxpayers and not-so-good news for borough employees.
Next year's budget will be balanced, with anticipated revenues of $1,153,235 against identical expenditures. The tax rate will remain the same at 35 mills, plus 11.1 directed mills for a total of 46.1 mills
But a tight economy and limited sources of additional revenue led Borough Council to freeze wages for 2017.
"Income is down about $15,000," said Council Member Meagan Kameen. "We had to cut expenses a lot."
Council President Patrick Beck commended Kameen and Borough Treasurer Gregory Myer for their work on the budget.
"Ms. Kameen worked really hard on this, going line by line," he said. "We really understand the budget now."
Beck said the goal was to finish with a balanced budget "and we got there. We know what things look like going forward. We're also looking at some grants for the coming years."
The availability of grants, as well as the comprehensive plan and appointments to borough commissions, will be on the agenda for the Dec. 20 workshop, to be held in Borough Hall from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m... for complete story, get this weeks issue.
Port Jervis Ambulance Closing Affects Westfall
WESTFALL — One fallout from the Port Jervis Volunteer Ambulance Corps (PJVAC) temporarily ceasing service in Pike County is the burdening of Westfall Township Fire Dept. with covering that gap in service.
Westfall Fire Dept. Chief Rob Llewellyn reported the problem to Westfall Township supervisors in his monthly briefing that took place at a regular township meeting on Monday.
Llewellyn said that PJVAC's ceasing Advanced Life Support (paramedic), Basic Life Support (BLS), and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) service in early November forced Westfall to become the de facto primary EMT provider for Westfall Township. Previously, Westfall was the secondary provider.
Becoming the primary provider added dozens of extra calls a month, an outcome that is stretching Westfall EMT personnel to the limit.
Llewellyn said that the department responded to 44 EMT calls in Westfall, 41 in Orange County, and 16 in eastern Pike, the most total monthly calls this year and in recent memory.
Westfall Township Supervisor Chairman Bob Melvin said, "This is a big strain to our Emergency Medical Service unit."
Llewellyn said that the Westfall EMS unit cannot sustain the additional call volume for more than one month because Westfall is already the primary ambulance provider for Matamoras Borough.
Llewellyn said that he fears that the extra call volume might cause volunteers to drop out. The EMTs have day jobs and calling them out too frequently would burn them out. Since the volunteer ranks are already low, losing any EMTs would be bad, and attracting new ones might be a huge hurdle.
Llewellyn said, "Matamoras has six EMTs and some ambulance drivers. So, maybe they can help us [share the load]. We can't keep up this pace."
Llewellyn said that Westfall Fire Dept. and Matamoras Borough Fire Dept. are discussing solutions. The solutions include tweaking each company's by-laws' wording that restricts a member from serving in another department. For EMTs to serve in another department, the by-laws require amending to allow such crossover.
Also, Llewellyn said that Workers Compensation Insurance standards would not cover a Matamoras Borough EMT treating a Westfall Township resident on a call in Westfall... for complete story, get this weeks issue.