The LED street light replacement program, which began this year, will continue.

A water line will be replaced on Main Street between 9th and Mill streets, a $350,000 project.

More cement planters will be installed downtown.

Decrease in utility bills

Assuming approval by council, Rosenberger said in 2014 utility customers will see a decrease in the debt service fee, a line on their monthly utility bills.

He said that fee is based on the amount of water used.

“The lowest amount a customer could pay will be $16 a month and it ranges up to $200 a month for some very large industry users,” he explained. “We’re going to be reducing it by around 12.5 percent.”

He said those now paying $16 will pay only $14, those paying $24 will pay about $21 and businesses paying $200 will pay about $175.

Rosenberger said that proposed fee reduction will be acted on by council in January.

He said the borough can reduce the debt service fee because “we’ve been diligently paying down our debt.”

New service fee on utility bill payments

Unrelated to the budget is a new monthly $2.50 service fee for utility customers who pay their borough utility bills electronically with “e-check” bank transfers or credit cards.

“They can avoid that fee by signing up for their electronic transfers to be automatically charged to their card or deducted from their bank account each month,” explained Rosenberger

He said the $2.50 also will not be charged to people who pay with cash or paper checks.

He estimated about 20 percent of utility customers pay electronically.

Council will act on approving that fee at its meeting next week.

“This is not an optional fee,” said McElree. “This is required from the credit card companies. It’s not something we’re imposing or asking council to impose.”

Other business

Also during the meeting, it was announced that the annual Christmas tree lighting program will be 5-8:30 p.m. Dec. 6 in downtown Quakertown. Council member Michael Johnson said the program has grown dramatically over the years, drawing about 2,500 people last year.

Resident Neal Koch, who lives along S. 9th Street, objected to plans for the borough to permanently approve a four-way stop signs at 9th and Main streets.

Temporary signs have been there for about two months and, so far, the majority of feedback from residents has been favorable, said borough officials. “We’re definitely thinking of making a permanent four-way stop sign at that location,” said Johnson.

Koch said he’s lived in that neighborhood for 32 years and is not aware of any accidents with major injuries at that intersection. He indicated 9th and Park Avenue is a more dangerous intersection with more accidents.