PITTSTON — City council members on Monday approved a 2016 budget that holds the line on taxes and fees.
The budget stands at an amount of $6,469,340 with a mill rate of 6.85. A mill is $1 for every $1,000 in assessed property value. The budget calls for no increase in property taxes, real estate income tax, sewer maintenance fees or refuse fees.
Other motions approved at the meeting include a Local Share Pittston Police Modernization Grant and a Local Share Pittston Neighborhood Initiative Grant; both agreements authorize Redevelopment Authority Director Joe Chacke to submit the grants on behalf of the city.
City Administrator Joe Moskovitz said the $670,000 police modernization grant will pay for upgrades to the city’s police station in regards to the City Hall renovation project that is currently underway. The Neighborhood Initiative Grant, he said, is for $3.2 million, and will be used to improve city parks, pay for senior housing projects and housing rehabilitation, provide small loans to homeowners and purchase blighted property for demolition or refurbishing.
In other business, council members approved:
• A temporary closing of Spring Street between Tomato Festival Drive and Market Street from 8 a.m. on March 4 until 2 a.m. March 6 for the St. Patrick’s Parade.
• Two payments, one for $10,499.33 and one for $4,232, to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for the Kennedy and Riverfront Streetscape Project Reimbursement Agreement, representing the city’s share of the project cost.
• Adding a provision for the establishment of handicap parking spaces for city parks.
• The request of a Multimodal Transportation Fund Grant of $372,606 from PennDOT to be used for the Pittston Gateway Project, which is a streetscape project that will focus on the improvement of Kennedy Boulevard by the forks in the road between North Main Street and South Main Street.
• Appoint Jeffrey Ghannam and Arthur Bobouine to the Pittston City Planning Commission effective immediately to four-year terms expiring Dec. 31, 2019.