TELFORD —Telford Borough Council members unanimously voted to adopt a tax ordinance that will increase taxes by 4.1 percent at their Dec. 3 meeting.
The general fund millage will increase by 0.25 mills, which will bring the total millage to 6.04. The library and fire company millages will remain at 0.30 mills each.
At the November meeting, Borough Manager Mark Fournier said, on average, residents will see their tax bills increase by $34.
Also at Monday night’s meeting, council member unanimously voted to adopt an ordinance that will allow the borough to borrow $1.03 million from First National Bank and Trust Co. of Newtown.
This loan will help finance the purchase of the former Univest Bank building on Penn Avenue. Fournier previously said this acquisition is part of the reason for the tax increase.
In other business, police Chief Randall Floyd told council members that Zachary Wedemeyer, a part-time police officer who was hired in June, left the Telford Police Department a week before he was set to go out on his own and took a full-time position at the East Norriton Police Department.
“We spent the money and never got one ounce of benefit,” Floyd said.
Floyd explained it cost the police department more than $16,000, but then Wedemeyer never even went out to patrol on his own. Floyd said that it costs $2,570 to perform a background check and $2,000 on uniforms — the bullet proof vests cost $900. Additionally, Wedemeyer was paid $12,423.
“We end up training people and then they leave to go to another department,” Floyd said.
He said in the past three years, at least six part-time officers have left Telford to find full-time police officer jobs.
The 2019 budget doesn’t include hiring a full-time officer. Floyd said he has been asking the borough for a full-time officer for at least six years.
“I realize policing’s expensive. It’s 90 percent manpower,” Floyd said. “We have the same manpower we had when I started 31 years ago. You can’t just do it anymore with that.”
In other business, a resident of Grundy Manor discussed the lack of parking — specifically handicapped parking — outside the facility at 111 E. Lincoln Ave.
“There are too many cars for spots and not much room for handicapped parking,” Floyd said.
He said, for now, police officers won’t ticket cars parked between the signs that read no parking until there is a solution.
Fournier said when Grundy Manor originally moved moved into the borough, it was under the guise of an elderly facility, but now the residents are much more mobile.
The next council meeting will be Jan. 7, 2019.