HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) It’s no secret that many area communities are having a difficult time paying the bills and making budget.
Many had to raise property taxes to keep the lights on.
Hazleton is no different.
But it has been getting a helping hand from businesses that wanted to make a difference.
The I-Team’s Andy Mehalshick reports from the Mountain City.
It was all smiles inside Hazleton City Hall as Mayor Jeff Cusat accepted a check for $12,000 dollars from the Cargill company..
The money was raised in a golf tournament that was sponsored last year by the meat processing company..it will go towards renovating the Beech Street playground in the city’s Southside.
“We’ve always been a big sponsor of the city. This is a great opportunity to give back to the kids.” Said Aaron Humes the GM of Cargill.
Cargill joins a growing number of businesses that have stepped up to the plate to help the financially strapped city..
“The city has reached out to businesses with certain projects and Cargill stepped up this time.” Said Mayor Jeff Cusat
Cusat says the city has been given more about $100,000 from other businesses over the last year..some of that money was used to by new police cruisers..
“You never want to count on donations but its great to get donations that could be an add on for another project. We’ve been using donations to get matching grants. If you get $10,000 it can be turned into $20,000.” added Cusat.
And that Mayor Cusat says saves taxpayers money and can make the difference of purchasing new equipment for playgrounds or even a police cruiser. Items the city would otherwise could not afford.
Money is so tight in Hazleton that Mayor Cusat had proposed a 20 percent property tax hike to keep the city operating…
But council voted the plan down and said it would find other revenue sources to avoid any tax increase.