LT Supers Approve 2013 Tentative Budget
In addition to the budget, the supervisors approved advertising for a police chief and two part-time officers in anticipation of the budget being finalized.
Both votes received the same results, gaining approval, 2-1. Supervisors Glenn Johnston and William Lawhead voted in favor of both motions. Supervisor Edward Brown opposed both votes.
Brown explained that 77 percent voted against instituting a six-mill property tax increase to fund the police department. He said this was evidence that the township’s citizens didn’t want to increase the funding for the police department.
Until this end, Brown preferred adding three part-time officers and keeping the full-time force at seven. If an outside police chief had to be hired, he said one full-time officer would become part-time in order to increase the number of officers without increasing the budget.
Johnston restated the township’s intended use of the Act 13 funds from Marcellus Shale drilling. He said although the funding had limits to its usage, it can be used in those categories, which will then free up equivalent funds for use elsewhere.
From the first impact fee allotment, $400,000 will be used to create a fund to eliminate future Tax Anticipation Notices, or loans making up the difference between the start of a year and the township receiving its tax funding. He said this will come from funds freed up by using Act 13 funds toward specified expenditures.
Next, Johnston said $350,000 will go toward paying off township fire equipment that’s currently under financing. He said this frees up two mils, or $110,000, per year. He said they’ll save this funding for a new engine either as a complete payoff or a down payment.
Johnston said $100,000 will be placed into capital reserves, and the final $250,000 for roads, bridges and paving.
Johnston said the supervisors are anticipating the 2013 impact fee allotment to be approximately $550,000; it will be split three ways. He said that $50,000 will be used to increase the police department’s budget in order to afford an eighth full-time position.
Johnston said $250,000 will be put into a capital reserve fund to act as a buffer in case the township continues seeing increased costs from the police department, or to provide five years of funding if the Act 13 funds would ever end for the township. He said the final $250,000 will go toward road and bridge repair pending full adoption of the budget.