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Perkasie council requires use of fire tax funds for firehouse driveway work


Perkasie Fire Company No. 1 will need to use funds from a fire tax it receives to pay for improvements to the driveway entry of its facility at 100 N. Fifth St.

At a regular business meeting Monday night, Perkasie Borough Council voted 8-0 to approve either repair or replacement of the driveway “apron” provided the money comes from a ½-mill tax collected for capital improvements to benefit the fire department.

Councilman Matt Aigeldinger did not attend the meeting.

Perkasie collects 1.5 mills per year to fund the fire department, which also serves East Rockhill Township.

Of the tax collected, 1 mill is used for equipment maintenance and purchases with the remaining ½ mill to be set aside for capital (building and property) maintenance or improvements.

Councilman Chuck Brooks said he would not vote for the borough to foot the bill for driveway work at the fire department site. “You’ve come here tonight asking us for money, for $30,000, when the road budget is already [topped out],” Brooks said.

Brooks told Perkasie Fire Company No. 1 President Roger Jones, and John Maven, its first vice president, to request the money from membership.

Maven said blacktop installed several years ago was not holding up under the weight and size of modern firefighting equipment, including a “tower” aerial ladder truck.

He said the department was looking at a concrete replacement, which would be more long-lasting and the construction more involved than a surface area “fix” to correct it.

Perkasie Council President Jim Ryder said borough officials understood money for site work at the fire department property would be used from the fire tax collected on behalf of the fire department.

Maven said the fire department’s capital fund currently had a balance of about $34,000.

“You may need to look at how you’ll set aside funding over the next several years to save for this, and the fix you want to do there,” Ryder said.

In other news: Perkasie Borough Council voted 8-0 to approve the cost of a traffic study at Fifth Street and Park Avenue, and at Ninth Street and Park Avenue. The vote was prompted by the Aug. 19 bridge closure from Sellersville Borough into the borough.

Both intersections were described as heavily traveled and potentially “dangerous.”

Doug Rossino, a representative from Gilmore & Associates Inc., the borough’s engineering firm, said a traffic study including traffic counts was required to apply to change the intersections. Currently at Ninth Street and Park Avenue, a blinking light caution (yellow) and stop (red) is in place.

Rossino said during the Sellersville bridge closure, PennDOT would allow a temporary, four-way stop sign. “If council wants to consider a permanent four-way stop there, then we need to get traffic counts in the next two weeks,” Rossino said.