A special Board of Supervisors budget meeting was held on Tuesday, November 28, 2017 commencing at 9:00 a.m. Chairman, Mr. Hensel called the meeting to order. Present was Supervisor, Mr. Reynolds and Supervisor Mr. Taylor via telephone connection. Also present was Chris Herr, Township Accountant and members of the community.
The moment of silence and Pledge of Allegiance were waved.
Chris Herr stated that the budget will reflect a 5% raise in the usage rate for sewer. The usage rate now is $13.50 per 1,000 gallons and will be in 2018 $14.18 per thousand gallons.
Mr. Herr suggested a .62 mill tax increase and a 3% raise for all employees including the third full time officer. The Public Works truck for $100,000 will be spread over two years at $50,000 per year.
There are no plans to use money in the Liquid Fuels account in 2018, at this time.
Mr. Reynolds stated the fire tax and the emergency Services Tax are separate taxes. Only one tax increase needs to be done for both taxes; they can be combined stipulated how much is for each tax.
Mr. Herr stated the .62 mill increase can be divided between both taxes.
Mr. Taylor asked if the lap top and projector he asked for Emergency Services would come out of this tax. Chris Herr said no, they were already added to come out of the General Fund.
Mr. Reynolds stated he has proposals from Westwood ambulance and Keystone Valley ambulance and he needs enough from the fire tax to cover the cost of ambulance service and help putting an addition on the Sadsburyville Fire House, and a .62 mill increase is not enough to do what needs to be done. Mr. Reynolds stated a 1 mill increase would get the job done.
Mr. Taylor stated he received an e-mail from the Township attorney and he feels it is something that Mr. Hensel should not vote on. Also Mr. Taylor feels Mr. Hensel should not vote on any contracts that need to be dealt with.
Mr. Hensel stated that now is the time to approve the budget, so it can be advertised. Mr. Taylor stated he is okay approving the budget, but leery on approving any contracts. Mr. Hensel stated you can deal with contracts after the first of next year. The Township is covered by the ADL, at this time.
Mr. Taylor does not like Westwood ambulance being station at the old Township building. Mr. Reynolds stated that has changed and Westwood would be stationed at Sadsburyville Fire house. Some adjustments will be made on storing vehicles until the addition is added to the firehouse. Mr. Taylor stated that if it is not broken, why are we trying to fix it? Mr. Hensel stated they need to come together for the safety of the Township.
Mr. Hensel made a motion, seconded by Mr. Taylor, to accept the Township 2018 budget for advertisement for adoption. With there being no questions from the public, the Board voting “aye”, the motion passed unanimously.
Mr. Taylor asked what would the cost be per household if a 1 mill fire tax was instated. Mr. Herr answered it would be 1% of assessed value of the property.
Mr. Reynolds made a motion, seconded by Mr. Taylor to institute a 1 mill fire and Ems tax, being fire .65 and EMS .35, bringing the total tax millage for Sadsbury Township at 2.30 mills. With there being no questions from the public, Mr. Hensel voting “nay”, the motion passed.
Erik Brecht of Sadsburyville Fire Company stated Sadsburyville has been receiving less money from the Township for a long time. They have expansion plans ready to go and have been conservative with spending. Sadsburyville agrees to mutual aid. Consider the situation in light of the last few years and side with the hometown fire company. Sadsburyville has gotten the short end of the stick forever.
Mr. Taylor stated that he became Emergency Coordinator for both fire companies and has said for a long time that the bickering had to stop. Eric Brecht beats down Sadsburyville and Westwood, and now says they are getting the short end of the stick.
Mr. Brecht stated the consolidation costs were an exorbitant amount of money and continues to do so. Mr. Brecht said at first, he was for the consolidation, and through the years has turned against it. All the money given to Keystone Valley is going to Parkesburg Borough.
Mr. Taylor stated we don’t need to argue about that now.
Mr. Hensel made a motion, seconded by Mr. Reynolds, to adjourn the meeting. With there being no questions from the public, the Board voting “aye”, the motion passed unanimously.