Emmaus Council focuses on finances

Posted: 12:07 AM EDT Oct 16, 2012

The Emmaus Council focused heavily on financial issues and proposals brought to the Council at their meeting on Monday night.

The Parks and Recreation Committee comprised of Council Members Wesley Barrett, Brian Holtzhafer, and Brent Labenberg, had the most to bring before the rest of Council regarding financial changes. Barrett mentioned to the Council that Girl Scouts had requested to rent a pavilion in the borough and had requested the pavilion fee to be waived.

“In the past we have waived the fee, denied the fee, and sometimes even lowered the fee,” commented Barrett.

Barrett expressed concern to the Council about the inconsistency of this request. Borough Manager Shane Pepe also weighed in on the subject. Pepe informed the Council that out of the last five times that this request has been brought to the Council, the fee has been waived three times.

“The most recent decision has been to deny the request,” said Pepe.

According to Barrett, the Parks and Recreation Committee have always suggested denying the request, but the decision has not always been held up by the Council as Pepe pointed out. After brief discussion, the Council decided to deny the fee waiver request and in turn begin to develop consistency in the decision regarding this request.

Barrett also brought up a decision by the Committee to increase field rental fees effective January 1st, 2013. Not all rental fees were increased, but some were increased by 30-50%. The rental fees are for practices, games, light usage, and per day usage for the softball and baseball fields at the park. Not all Council Members were in agreement of the proposed increase so Barrett and Holtzhafer explained the reasoning behind the increase.

According to Holtzhafer, the Borough’s charged so little for renting the fields that teams and organizations would rent the fields but never actually use them. Barrett mentioned that after some research the proposed increase for renting the fields is comparable to surrounding boroughs. Barrett continued by saying that this increase would mainly affect non-borough residents.

The Council also approved this proposal.