My opinion is that the Local Services tax should be repealed because it drives away business and makes it harder to attract workers in Barrett Township:

Background - State Level:

  • The Local Tax Enabling Act of 1965 allowed Second Class Townships to collect Occupational Privilege Taxes
  • In 2004, the Local Tax Enabling Act was amended to allow for collecting "Emergency and Municipal Services Taxes"

Background - Locally:

  • In 2005, ordinance 141 was passed, known as "Emergency and Municipal Services Tax"
  • In 2007 it was renamed "Local Services Tax" when ordinance #155 was passed.
Published in Local News
Monday, 15 February 2021 11:05

Can residents own their internet provider?

Friends and Neighbors - I want to share the following information about a small town near Westfield, Massachusetts that built their own fiber optic internet service. Would something like this benefit the people of Barrett Township?

The City of Westfield has been home to an experiment, of sorts, in which municipal internet has been made available to a majority of the homes in the city. Westfield Gas and Electric (WG&E) has developed its own ISP to give residents a choice for internet service beyond the monopoly of a private ISP.

Published in Local News
Tuesday, 29 December 2020 10:29

Did we save money by regionalizing police?

 

Question:
Did we save money by switching from Barrett Township to Pocono Mountain Regional police?

Answer:
I'm going through the "Public Safety - Police" total expense lines for years available to me and here is what I have:

[Updated 1/7/21 to include 2020's budget]

2010: $552,000 (When Barrett had 6 officers)
2011: ?
2012: ?
2013: ? (+ $100,000*)
2014: ?
2015: $709,000 (The year that Barrett police disbanded. Had 5 officers)
2016: $520,000 (Regional)
2017: $520,000 (Regional)
2018: $578,000 (Regional)
2019: $551,000 (Regional)
2020: $575,048 (Regional)

Published in Local News

(Meeting was held last week)

Notes from meeting:

  • Monroe County is not receiving any State funds for the project - entirely self funded
  • No funds set aside - borrowing (bonds)
  • During meeting stated that it has been determined that this project will not affect the overall tax rate
Published in Local News

Update 5/20/20 @ 10:30:
I did some more research on the 2020 Census and it seems the driver in our area is likely part of the "Update Leave" part of the census, where they send drivers to areas without postal service.  However, the strange part is our area ALSO received those postcards.  Not sure why this happened, it should only be one or the other during this phase of the census.  FYI, the actual "Door knocking" part of the census begins on August 11, 2020.  

(related)

 

Update 5/19/20 @ 8:40am - Message from neighbor:
Nate: This Census dude actually is a big question mark. I filed a police report on him. He dropped off somebody else's census on my porch. I drove around the neighborhood until I found the house it belonged to, and delivered it. He came back THE NEXT DAY and was attempting to come up my driveway to drop off another packet. I chased him off, but then grew suspicious. He has been wandering around the area for several days now. Since you obtained a picture of his car, I'm turning it over to the police to investigate.

 

Original Article:

Why are Census workers driving around, against "social distancing" orders, not wearing masks, in a "red county"?  

I was surprised, let's say, when this 2020 Census worker pulled into my driveway on Saturday May 16, around 4pm. 

Further, we had already completed the census online, on April 2nd!  He had no reason to even pull in. 

Published in Local News

This article features a question & answer between myself and Judy Linder, Barrett Tax Collector, regarding the 2020 millage and how it fits into the county-wide reassessment.

QUESTION (Nate)
I'm confused about the property reassessment and the millage. It looks like the millage went from 20 down to 2.5, the millage numbers were roughly divided by 10. Monroe County is switching the property valuations from 25% value up to 100%. Perhaps I'm totally lost here but one set of numbers is divided by 10 and the other multiplied by 4, it doesn't add up to me. Can you let me know what I'm missing, here?

Published in Local News
Wednesday, 18 December 2019 15:34

2020 Millage Rates for Barrett Township

Per pdf Resolution No. 121119B (703 KB) , Barrett Township Supervisors have set the 2020 budget and millage rates. 

For comparison purposes, I have constructed the following table showing the 2020 vs. previous millage rates:

Mills 2020  2019
General Purpose 1.7933 14.0
Park 0.096 0.75
Fire 0.2562 2.0
Library 0.1922 1.5
Road Machinery 0.16  1.25
Open Space 0.032  0.25
Ambulance 0.064  0.5
Total 2.5937 20.25

 

How is the millage rate calculated?
The county, municipality, and school district (taxing authorities) set their budgets for 2020. The taxing authority then divides its budget by the total assessed value of all property within the area it serves to arrive at a millage rate. (source

Published in Local News

Disclaimer: The ideas expressed below are the personal thoughts and opinions of Nate Covington and do not necessarily reflect the position of Barrett Township or the Board of Auditors.

Background: There are 15 second-class townships in Monroe County. All of them function with 3 elected supervisors except three: Barrett, Tobyhanna, and Coolbaugh.

Published in Local News
Monday, 07 October 2019 09:49

Idea: Barrett Banks - Shared Security Guard

Due to the fact that all three banks in Mountainhome have been robbed since 2015, after the Barrett Police department disbanded, I wanted to share an idea that I heard:

The three banks should share the cost of an armed security guard. They would patrol the section of Route 390 where First Keystone, NBT, and ESSA are situated along a 0.8 mile stretch of road.

Published in Local News

A few months ago, I filed a right-to-know request asking for an asset inventory of the township maintenance department of any item valued at $500 or above. 

I reached out to York Rake, the manufacturer, asking for information about our town’s 1987 HTR Street Broom.  

One would be forgiven for thinking our town's equipment being too old to get parts for anymore, or that we loaned it to another township.  I learned not only does Barrett Township actually own a street sweeper, but it’s even a current model.  Below is a transcript of my email thread with York Rake.

Published in Local News

Support Local Businesses!

  • Little Green Bookshop
    Little Green Bookshop The Little Green Bookshop, a non-profit organization located at 1233 Rt. 390 in Mountainhome, sells new and used books, offers a variety of educational and…
  • PA Liquor Store - Cresco, PA
    PA Liquor Store - Cresco, PA Located next to First Keystone Community Bank on Route 390 & Price's Drive
  • Nearly New Shop
    Nearly New Shop Volunteers always needed!  Consignments accepted Tuesdays 10-noon.  Open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10-4; donations accepted anytime.
  • Starner's Quik Shoppe (Exxon)
    Starner's Quik Shoppe (Exxon) Open daily until 11pm Help Wanted!

Latest