Kennett Square Borough handles full agenda
● By Steven Hoffman
Kennett Square Borough has gone three years without a tax increase, but at the Oct. 1 meeting council member Wayne Braffman said that it might be more difficult to pass a budget for 2019 without including a tax increase to offset rising costs.
Braffman, who serves on the borough's Finance Committee, said that the goal remains to pass a balanced budget that keeps taxes at the same level while not cutting services. As the budget picture becomes more clear—a preliminary budget will be unveiled next month—it might not be possible to continue providing all the current services without increasing taxes.
“It's going to be hard to get through 2019 without a tax increase,” Braffman said. “It's going to be tougher than it was the year before and the year before that.”
The borough's Municipal Relations Committee is working on identifying some priorities for future commercial and residential development that could help streamline the process for developers who are looking to undertake projects in the borough. By identifying these priorities, developers will have have a clear understanding, before they even submit their plans, for some of Kennett Square's goals.
Council members shared some of their ideas with the Municipal Relations Committee. Several council members talked about the need for more affordable housing, as well as housing at various price points.
Council president LaToya Myers noted that the goal isn't just to have housing at all price points, but to also focus on initiatives that will ensure that diverse groups of people will be living and working together. While Kennett Square Borough already has a diverse population overall, there are still pockets of the community that are more isolated. Myers said that the community needs to be fully integrated.
Mayor Matthew Fetick issued a proclamation recognizing October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Officials from the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County were on hand for the proclamation. The Domestic Violence Center of Chester County has an office in Kennett Square, and another new office will soon be opening in southern Chester County.
While making the proclamation, Fetick talked about the serious impact that domestic violence has on families. He noted that, when he previously served as a police officer, a lot of families who were involved in domesic violence calls would end up relying on the resources of the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County to help them through the crisis.
Fetick also noted that the two most recent homicides in Chester County were related to domestic violence, so it is an ongoing issue.
Five community organizations, the Kennett Area Park and Recreation Board, the Kennett Area Park Authority, the Kennett Library, Historic Kennett Square, and the Southeastern Chester County Refuse Authority (SECCRA), all made their annual reports to borough council.
Borough council approved the HARB applications for 305 and 307 East State Street and 225 Birch Street. The roof and front windows are slated to be replaced at the building on State Street, while exterior renovations are taking place on the Birch Street property.
Council also approved the Special Event applications for the Troop 24 Magical Mystery Tour from Oct. 20 to 21, and the KARMA KSQ Harvest Festival on Oct. 27. The Harvest Festival is a new event that is being planned instead of the parade that usually took place before Halloween.