Upon the signing of the Vision 2020 statement last month, Robert Slabinski, C.E.O. of Student Lodging, Inc. and Student Services, Inc., went above and beyond his annual $400,000 contribution to the Millersville Borough by announcing a gift of an additional $10,000.

In 2004, “the State Supreme Court struck down…tax levied on residential lease transactions to Millersville Borough…so, the borough is required to pay back, plus interest.”

The State Supreme Court deemed the receiving of these funds as unconstitutional in 2004 and the Borough faces an annual debt of $30,000 from not receiving these funds.

The Borough has to pay back all such funds received between 2005 and 2008.

Slabinski has been with the University for 39 years, and over those years has regularly contributed to the Millersville community. Over the 29 years that SLI has been with the University, it has been the largest taxpayer in the borough—and voluntarily.

Because the University itself is forbidden by law to pay even a dime in property taxes (taxes that aid the Millersville community), Student Lodging Inc. has taken it upon itself to provide a sort of upkeep of the community.

“This gift continues the town partnership which includes such programs as the Millersville Parade, Community Day and financial assistance to the volunteer fire department,” said Dick Moriarty, mayor of Millersville Borough.

“Other joint programs include the Marauder Gold card, having a student representative sit on the Borough Council and having a Borough Council member sit on the University’s Master Plan.”

Out of the regular $400,000, Penn Manor receives approximately $290,000 annually, the Millersville Borough approximately $150,000.

The Millersville Business Association, the Millersville Borough Council, Penn Manor School District, Millersville University and the Millersville Ministerial Group appeared in the Borough Council chambers on Jan. 26 in order to give the new Vision 2020 a way forward.

“Millersville will realize its full potential as a vibrant community and a thriving college town,” read the first sentence of the Vision 2020 statement signed on Jan. 26.

“Vision 2020 is a concept that has been talked about with the leadership and the community and the University, oh, for a couple years,” said Slabinski.

Slabinski said that the $10,000 contribution to the Borough is merely a “gesture to show our continued support” of the long-standing vision.

Without the annual contributions that the Student Lodging Inc. and Student Services Inc. gives the University in particular, Slabinski explains that all student activities would have to be paid for out of the student activities fee.

Student Lodging Inc. owns and operates Brookwood Apartments, Wellness Apartments, Shenks Hall and Reighard Hall.

The revenue from those apartments is where the contributions come from, and it only seems fair that the money go back to the community it comes from.

“Millersville University and Millersville Borough have a lengthy history of serving both students and residents,” explained Borough President Scott Baile., “And for that reason it fits the vision to support the community in which the students live and work and gain their educations.”