The Sadsbury Township Board of Supervisors held a special budget meeting on Friday, February 2, 2018 commencing at 9:00 a.m. Chairman, Mr. Reynolds called the meeting to order. Present was Supervisor John Moore and Supervisor Mr. Taylor via telephone connection. Also present was Township Solicitor, Mr. O’Keefe, Township Account, Mr. Herr, Township Manager, Mr. Walters, and members of the community.
A moment of silence and Pledge of Allegiance was observed.
Ms. Russell reported that PennDOT states only 20% can be taken out of the Liquid Fuels Account for a truck, even if it is through Co-Stars. $36,000 can be taken out of the 2017 Liquid Fuels allocation and $28,000 can be taken out of the 2018 allocation. $111,000 can be taken out of the Capital Reserve Fund, so the truck can be purchased this year. The Capital Reserve has a balance of $700,000. Mr. Taylor stated he has no problem taking it out of the Capital Reserve, because a truck is needed, and it will be more expensive the longer we wait.
Mr. Herr stated the bottom line does not change.
Mr. Dague, from the Historical Society is asking the Board to add $400.00 to the budget for support of the Society bringing in speakers for their meetings. Nine speakers a year charging from $50.00 to $150.00 makes them short in funds and they would like some help from the Township. Mr. Taylor told Mr. Herr to take the $400.00 from the Emergency Coordinator budget. Mr. Taylor can shave off $400.00 of the computer budgeted and give it to the Historical Society.
Mr. O’Keefe stated the Attorney fees for the Lincoln Crest case is about to go to settlement. There is $34,000 budgeted. There is nothing more on the horizon that we know about, so there could be $14,000 shaved off that amount.
The PMRS is budgeted for $80,000. Mr. Reynolds stated maybe some could be shaved of that and lower the tax increase. Mr. Walters stated to make the PMRS $60,000 and Mr. Reynolds requests that it be lowered to $50,000.
Christine Moore asked how this tax increase will be presented to the residents. Mr. Reynolds stated the bulk of the tax increase is because we hired a third full-time police officer. Ms. Silvernail also stated that residents are going to the County to have their homes reassessed lower and this is a real dilemma for the Township. Christine Moore suggested to do away with the fire tax and do a real estate tax. Mr. Reynolds stated you can’t expect each fire company to go without funding. The full-time police officer was added to the budget as well as the Treasurer position. Mr. Reynolds stated the EMS tax is 2%.
Ms. Moore asked as a resident, why do we need two different taxes?
Mr. Herr stated the present tax rate is 1.3 mills and the new rate would be 2.3mills.
Sergeant Imhoff thinks the PMRS can crunch numbers more. The second or third year the Township will break even with reimbursements from the state. Sergeant Imhoff will not buy back years of service.
Mr. Taylor stated that East Fallowfield put on a fire tax and the residents are upset. We can put a tax and not call it a fire tax. Mr. Reynolds stated we can raise taxes by 1 mill and can call it whatever we want. Next year change the designation, not raise taxes, just the designation. Mr. Taylor stated it is hard to understand the tax if you are not a fireman or EMS.
Christine Moore asked, other than salary and officers, what is the reason for reopening the budget. Ms. Russell stated that line items were taken out of the budget last year and several changes had to be added including PMRS, insurance premiums, treasurer salary, etc. If the changes were made in a normal budget year, there would be no problem at all. Since the budget had to be reopened, the 10% rule applies as per the Second Class Township Code.
Mr. Reynolds stated the Teamsters contract is coming up in June. The issue is Health Insurance. They were given some incentives to change coverage, and were encouraged to do so by their union, but they declined to do so.
Mr. Reynolds stated that Ms. Russell is very valuable to the Township. She is saving he Township a lot of money by not using the Accountants as much as in the past.
Mr. Russell stated the Board of Arbitrator was paid $3,600. Legal fees should go down. There is not a definite number of what the Arbitration cost will be at this time until all bills are in.
Mr. Moore stated a tax increase has to be done, but he is not happy about it. Mr. Reynolds feels it can be kept at a 1 Mill increase.
Mr. Taylor stated that a lot of residents are complaining about the Township Manager position. The residents are asking if we are a big enough Township to need one. Mr. Reynolds stated the position is only a year old.
Ms. Silvernail suggested to have an Executive Session with the Manager to see what his duties are and what is being done on a daily basis. He does not give a report at the Township meetings, so no one knows what his job is and what his daily duties are.
Mr. O’Keefe stated that if the Board wants to better define the position, he agrees that Executive Session is the way to go.
Mr. Walters stated that if you want to do away with the Manager position, the time to do so is now. If you don’t think you need the Manager, now is the time to decide.
Mr. Taylor stated it is not the person, but the position. Mr. Walters stated he serves at the pleasure of the Board.
Simon Jessey stated that Mr. Walters was a big help with the Tricentennial and comes to the Park and Recreation meetings. The Township Manager is really helpful.
Mr. O’Keefe recommends the Board have an Executive Session now.
The meeting was resumed after the Board met in Executive Session.
Mr. Reynolds made a motion, seconded by Mr. Moore, to authorize the Solicitor to create an Ordinance to eliminate the Township Manager position as of the Board of Supervisors meeting on March 6, 2018. With there being no questions from the public, the Board voting “aye”, the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Jessey stated he has three people to join the Parks Committee. Mr. Reynolds told Mr. Jessey to present his request at the Board of Supervisors meeting in February.
Ms. Silvernail stated they will have the Township Auditors reorganizational meeting on Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 11:00 a.m.
Mr. Herr stated the tax increase will go from the current 1.3 mill to 2.1mill. The PMRS will be set at $50,000. Mr. Jessey stated the $2,500 designated for Community Day can be eliminated, as it is completely funded by donations.
Ms. Silvernail stated the residents can’t blame the current Board for the tax increase. She would like to commend the Board for working so hard on the tax increase.
Mr. Reynolds made a motion, seconded by Mr. Taylor, to advertise the budget as calculated at today’s meeting. With there being no questions from the public, the Board voting “aye”, the motion passed unanimously.
Ms. Silvernail thanked the Board for doing a good job with the budget.
Chief Ranck thanked the Board for their hard work.
With there being no further business, Mr. Reynolds made a motion, seconded by Mr. Moore to adjourn the meeting. With there being no questions from the public, the Board voting “aye”, the motion passed unanimously.