Reynoldsville council discusses budget, new amusement tax

Following an executive session for personnel and legal matters, the Reynoldsville Borough Council held a work session on November 9.

The budget for 2021 was the main topic of discussion as the council went through the proposal item by item. Borough Secretary Jacqueline Dixon informed council that the budget included a loan for equipment needs, including such items as a dump bed, a furnace for the maintenance building, a used skid steer, and a shed to cover road materials. Though the need for a grader was also discussed, at the suggestion of Council President Bill Cebulskie, it was decided to rent the equipment as needed next year.

A couple of different budget figure totals were discussed. Cebulskie informed council of the possibility of a drop in revenue because of a decline in the gas industry. How to make up for that possible shortfall then became a topic of discussion.

Council member Ralph “Tucker” August suggested the reinstatement of an amusement tax on the gaming machines that have popped up in convenience stores and service clubs. The machines are not games of chance, which are covered by the state’s small games of chance license. They are considered, as Councilman Darren Scolese said, games of skill and can therefore be taxed.

It was decided to direct Borough Solicitor Joe Ryan to draw up an ordinance setting the games of skill tax at $125 a year per machine.

A budget of $833,175 was given tentative approval. It will advertised for 30 days. A final vote, along with related taxes, resolutions, and the games of skill ordinance, will take place at the December 16 budget meeting.

In other action, the council named Dr. Barry Fillman, the director at Jeff Tech and Reynoldsville resident, to the water and sewer board.

Some progress on the damaged building on Main Street was noted.

“They working on it,” Scolese said.

Council also discussed fixing a problem with the facade on the borough building sometime next year. Mayor Peach Caltagarone also suggested replacing the windows on the building.

The council approved paying vacation time to Officer Tammy Murray-Winfield for this year.

The next regular council meeting is set for November 18 at 6 p.m. at the Reynoldsville Fire Hall.

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