CARROLLTOWN – Frustrated at the lack of qualified road crew candidates, Carrolltown Borough Council approved a 1-mill tax increase to boost the starting wage. 

The tax increase from 23 mills to 24 mills was approved Monday, along with the borough’s 2020 budget, totaling $528,257. 

It will raise residential property taxes between $12 and $30, depending on the home’s assessed value,” Borough Manager Lonnie Batdorf said.

Council President Luke Baker proposed the 4.3% tax hike that will allow the borough to offer new road crew workers more than the current $10 an hour. 

“There is a street and water position we have not been able to fill for three months,” Batdorf said. 

The latest hiring announcement brought 27 applications, from which five top candidates were invited for interviews, Councilwoman Darlene Lutch said. 

“Three showed up for their appointments,” she said. 

The top candidate accepted the job, but then informed the borough he was taking a different offer before his first day on the job. 

“There is just no one out there that has the qualifications,” Lutch said. “They will have to be trained.” 

Additional funds realized from the tax increase will be placed in Carrolltown’s infrastructure fund for street and building needs, Baker said.

Randy Griffith is a multimedia reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5057. Follow him on Twitter @PhotoGriffer57.

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