Sugarcreek council reviews firefighter tax credit ordinance

Staff writer

Sugarcreek Borough Council members reviewed an ordinance at their meeting Wednesday that would allow a tax credit for volunteer firefighters who live in the borough.

Borough solicitor Brian Spaid said each active volunteer certified under the program would be eligible to receive a property tax credit of 20 percent on qualified property.

The ordinance lists five criteria that would have to be met annually by a firefighter to qualify. They are:

— The number of emergency response calls the volunteer responds to

— The level of training and participation in formal training and drills for a volunteer

— The amount of time expended by a volunteer on administrative and other support services including fundraising, providing facility or equipment maintenance and financial bookkeeping

— The involvement in other events or projects that aid the financial viability, emergency response or operational readiness of the fire department

— The number of years the volunteer has served.

A public hearing on the ordinance has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15, prior to the 7 p.m. council meeting that evening. Any questions council has about the tax credit program can be raised during the public hearing, borough manager Joe Sporer said.

Spaid will be contacting the Rocky Grove and Reno fire chiefs about their participation in the public hearing.

In other business Wednesday, police Chief Matt Carlson told council there was a “great turnout” of children at the police station on Halloween night for trick-or-treat activities.

Carlson said retired police chief Rick Baker donated almost $250 worth of candy bars and the department bought four additional bags, and most of it was gone by the end of the night.

There was no discussion at Wednesday’s meeting about the 2018 borough budget.