Pfizer Lawsuit Means A Tax Increase, Council Says
Borough council members say there's no option but to raise sewage taxes due to the lawsuit with Pfizer.
News from Monday and Tuesday's committee meetings includes a rise in taxes for sewage costs, as the council doesn't expect to wait to see the resolution between the borough and Pfizer.
Below are all the happenings with each committee over the last two days.
Finance and Technology Committee
The committee announced the inevitability of an increase in sewer rates due to Pfizer’s failure to the payments.
Council member and board chair John Manion said that the company agreed to pay the fees "in perpetuity, but they have since reneged on that and counter sued on back payment."
Back in April, the pharmaceutical company sued the borough for having to uphold the payments regardless of its closed facilities on South Bolmar Street.
The borough also brought a lawsuit against the company.
“Rate increases are inevitable,” he said. “These increases are going to have to come.”
Manion said Pfizer didn't pay for three quarters in 2012—which amounts to $600,000—and announced the $800,000 for 2013 will also not be paid.
Taxpayers will have to make up the 18 percent loss, he said.
"We won’t be able to rectify the situation [with Pfizer] for three years," he added. "Unfortunately, in a nutshell, they have forced us into this situation."
Meanwhile, the committee OK’d a Safety Grant Award from PennPRIME to allow Francis Hall Insurance Services to make a risk management plan for the borough. PennPRIME will front all the money for the $5,000 plan.
Public Works Committee
The committee worked out the nooks and crannies of costs relating to general maintenance in the borough.
Public works director Robert Wilpizeski said the borough saved thousands of dollars on LED lighting in traffic signals across town. See the article here.
Parks and Recreation Committee
The committee discussed the Young Lungs At Play initiative and whether the borough will engage in erecting signs to discourage smoking on playgrounds. However, the borough will have to adopt ordinance to discourage the practice.
Parks and recreation director Keith Kurowski announced there will be an air-conditioned tent—which will allow admittance with a few dollars—at the Turks Head Music Festival.
The committee discussed the interest of West Chester University to conduct a parking survey.
Jeff Osgood, director of the research center and professor of political science, said the study will consist of select surveys mailed to households in and around the borough. The questions will aim to discover perceptions from residents and non-residents on parking in the borough.
Angel Torres, resident of South New Street near West Miner Street, came to the committee to seek permit-only parking privileges for him and his neighbors from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. He said residents have trouble parking from morning to mid-afternoon.
Public Safety Committee
A big topic of discussion for this committee was the inquiry from Thornbury Township to obtain West Chester police services.
The borough already shares its services with East Bradford.
The committee also warned residents of the July 25 Chester County vote to charge municipalities for emergency dispatch services.
Planning, Zoning, Business and Industrial Development Committee
Various developers brought their plans to the committee for review.