LT Supers Draft First 2013 Budget

CLEARFIELD – The Lawrence Township Board of Supervisors reached tentative agreements regarding many aspects of its 2013 budget, including its police department funding, upon reviewing new information Thursday night at its second budget workshop meeting this week.

The supervisors anticipate total revenue in the amount of $2,336,616. This revenue figure doesn’t include the township’s expected Act 13 Marcellus Shale impact fee funding. Supervisors Glenn Johnston and Edward Brown were informed by Treasurer Barbara Shaffner that the state’s Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) required them to include the Act 13 funds in the budget.

The supervisors had approached the budget with the assumption of a near worst case scenario. They assumed the police millage ballot question would be voted down during the Nov. 6 General Election. In addition, they excluded the Marcellus Shale impact fee funding, which has not been distributed by the state.

Lawrence Township is supposed to receive $970,310 in impact fee funding that’s tentatively scheduled to be distributed in December. The supervisors must not only budget for this amount, but also for an unspecified amount due to them in July. The supervisors assumed a 40 percent reduction next year, bringing the total to be budgeted to $1,528,600. They debated about how to utilize this funding before compromising.

The supervisors agreed that approximately $500,000 would be set aside in a capital fund to aid the police department over five years, as needed. They agreed that $250,000 would be put toward paying off debt related to safety equipment, which, in turn, would lead to additional savings in interest not earned. Finally, approximately $300,000 would be invested in road and bridge repairs. The remainder would be placed in the township’s capital fund.

Shaffner presented the supervisors with four plans regarding its police funding. They assumed the millage ballot question would not pass, not wanting to exceed previous funding amounts. They discussed having a meeting after the election to adjust the budget regarding the police department funding in case the citizens wanted to improve the force.

Each plan began assuming at least the current level of police staffing; the current plan costs the township $816,616. After reviewing the options, the supervisors decided on the fourth one that would potentially hire an outside chief as well as maintain the current staff of police officers. This option costs $935,765.

Johnston also mentioned the possibility of promoting one of the seven full-time officers to chief while also hiring a part-time officer.

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3 thoughts on “LT Supers Draft First 2013 Budget

  1. Aaron T. Evans

    I think regionalization should strongly be considered between Clearfield Borough and Lawrence Township. If either side is serious, ask for a public meeting between both sides. Ask for community involvement. Push the issue when it stalls. If there are parties on either side who have issues with the topic, speak them freely. If it’s simply a “Borough vs. Township” issue, step aside and let more progressive minds get involved.

  2. Wm Ogden

    This is a great first step in reconstituting our police force. Sgt. Brooks indicated that 12 full-time officers would be the appropriate staffing to serve this community. Hopefully, as the impact fees reduce costs over time, additional funding will be used to rebuild the force. It is essential that the public reminds the supervisors of their desire to be adequately served and protected. Although not always convenient, attending Board of Supervisors’ meetings and making your voices heard will help move the process along

  3. mspencer4170

    why is only half the real issue reported? What about the fact that the reduction in Police force has doubled the crime rate and lowered the clearance rate of crimes. Its no secret that Johnston wants to eliminate the Police Department. There is no way the State Police can provide adequate covered, nor do they care too. The State Police address their needs first, look at what happened in Curwensville. Im sure on average, PSP has four troopers working at night, one large incident in Madera can mean a response time to Lawrence Township be delayed hours. I can see that its going to take a tragedy that could have been stopped for people to open their eyes. Then everyone will come together as a community and demand change.

    THere is no reason a 6 mil increase is needed. It is a ploy by Johnston to make sure it fails, then say “see people are content” when in reality they just cant afford 6mils.

    I dont see anything made public about the fact that Chief Brooks has proposed a budget for 2013 that was less then 2009 when they had 10 full time and four pt time officers. What about the money from last year’s budget that went unspent? I still question that the Police Department is made out to be the bad people but people have no problem calling on them when they need it.

    People want a Police Officer around to feel safe, but are afraid to speak up when the time is right.

    “there is no NICE way to arrest a potentially dangerous, combative suspect. The police are our bodyguards, our hired fists, batons and guns. We pay them to do the dirty work of protecting us, the work we’re too afraid, to unskilled or too civilized to do ourselves. We expect them to keep the bad guys out of our businesses, cars, houses and out of our faces. We want them to “take care of the problem”. We just don’t want to see how it’s done” – Dr. Charles Webb

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