HAZLETON — Thursday night, Hazleton City Council voted three to two to approve a controversial storm water fee for property owners in the city.
The city’s mayor was not at the meeting, but said the fee will prevent layoffs of city workers, by closing a budget shortfall of about half a million dollars.
Taxpayers at the meeting were upset with the fee.
“My question is, when are they going to tax me for the sun? You know? It`s a little bit ridiculous I think, a storm water fee,” said Joseph Corradini of Hazleton.
“I`m on disability. I`m on a fixed income, you know? Have to worry about the oil bill, I have to worry about the electricity and everything else that goes on in my house and he seems to think that `Oh, another 25 dollars four times a year isn`t going to hurt. It hurts!’ said Judy Yurcho.
The fee would depend on the size of a person’s property and how much of it is developed.
As city council works to pass a budget for next year, some at the meeting Thursday night demanded change.
“All I am asking is that we spend our money wisely and on things that we need for the city and not by just pet projects like a robotic garage and an airport that never made a dime,” said Mark Rabo of Hazleton.
Some at the packed meeting said the financial troubles have them fed up.
“I`m embarrassed as a Hazleton resident, for my council and for my mayor,” said Corradini.