To the editor: Kulpmont Borough Council approved a tentative budget that increased over 300 percent. The increase is primarily for the construction of a new borough hall. The council voted 6-0 for this budget; responsibility for this proposed project is clearly fixed. This council is going to put the borough in debt for $1.5 million dollars for a 40-year period, necessitating a huge increase in taxes.

Really - I mean really - does anyone in the borough except the council think that Kulpmont's most dire need and end-all, fix-all solution is a new borough hall? That the No. 1 priority for the well being of the borough residents is a new borough hall?

There is no justification or sound analysis of this proposal. When I questioned Councilman Clarence Deitrick on the proposal, I received little or no answers being referred to an upcoming News-Item article, and some movie, that would answer all my questions.

Nonsense. The article was simply propaganda; nothing more.

At another council meeting, I was told by Councilman Joe Winhofer that all my questions were answered. Hardly. Wasn't Winhofer going to get a grant?

Will anyone provide a detailed justification for this unnecessary, ill-conceived proposal? Will the council tell the taxpayers what the total cost will be for the building? A $3,500 down payment for the design of the new building was paid. What will be the total cost for the design? Wasn't $5,000 already paid out for this mess already? What will the tax increase be percentage terms? Is that increase more or less than a typical Social Security increase? Does council feel our fixed-income seniors have extra money to squander on a new borough hall?

Councilmen Bruno Varano (president), Winhofer, Deitrick and now Mayor Myron Turlis have been/were on the council long enough that they could have done something about the needed repairs on the current borough hall. Why didn't they do something?

Varano made the statement that everyone on the council pays the same amount of taxes as the residents. The problem with that statement is that the residents are not in a position to make such hopelessly wrong decisions.

Yes the council was elected to carry on the borough's business, but, not to make unwise, unjustified decisions.

The council is saying that the present building needs repairs that were neglected by several of the present elected borough officials. The building is expensive and the way council proposes dealing with that and saving the residents money is to put the citizens in debt to the tune of $1.5 million for 40 years and to raise taxes in an amount that as of now they are unsure. Essentially, we will save money by raising taxes and borrowing money.

Ludicrous. Whether it be Washington or Harrisburg or Sunbury or Kulpmont, only someone in government could make that argument.

Walt Lutz