A special Board of Supervisor budget meeting was held on Wednesday, November 15, 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 Mr. Walters, Township Manager, Chris Herr, Township Accountant and members of the community.
The moment of silence and Pledge of Allegiance were waved.
Chris Herr stated that what he has to present to the Board is 99% the same budget figures as last time. Salaries were added for the police department at 3% per their contract. The next meeting will address the Public Works salary increase and any other salary increases.
Mr. Taylor would like to know how much was spent in legal fees this year so far. Mr. Herr stated around $80,000. Mr. Hensel stated a large part of the legal fees have been spent on the lawsuit concerning the trailer park for sewage.
Mr. Taylor would like to know how much is spent on Code Enforcement. Mr. Herr stated that there is $83,0000 spent on building codes and $23,000 spent on zoning, for a total of $106,000.
Mr. Hensel asked Mr. Taylor how he feels about hiring a full-time police officer. Mr. Taylor replied that it is needed, people are concerned about State Police coming in on off hours. Mr. Reynolds stated he would be willing to take the heat on raising taxes for public safety.
Sergeant Imhoff stated that with the increase of officers, we can get started servicing the resident’s needs. Chief Ranck stated they will have more coverage Friday and Saturday evenings; that we don’t have now, because the Part-time officer they will hire will work week-ends. Mr. Reynolds stated to hire full-time from within. There is one officer working almost full- time hours now. How many park-timers will you need. Sergeant Imhoff stated that one part-time officer will be hired for the weekends. If we hire a full-time office from within, they will have their uniforms and there will be no need to be on our insurance; as he is on his wife’s. The full-time officer will be hired in January.
Mr. Walters stated that the Township can institute a fire tax. Mr. Herr stated a fire-tax must be used for fire services. Mr. Taylor asked if it could be used for Emergency Services. Mr. Herr stated the Second -Class Township Code specifies a fire tax is to be used for fire.
Mr. Herr feels the $52.00 EST tax will increase with the increased jobs in the Township.
Mr. Reynolds stated the Township has two proposals for ambulance service.
- Westwood $65,000, would put ambulance in Township Monday to Friday
- Keystone Valley $40,604.00, would be stationed in Parkesburg.
Mr. Herr stated a 1 mill fire tax on a $100,000 home would be about $100.00 a year.
Mr. Reynolds asked Mr. Taylor if he was okay with a tax increase. Mr. Taylor stated that $10.00 a month is not a lot of money and the Township needs to have this fire tax.
Mr. Simon Jessey stated there are a lot of complaints about the lack of police.
Chief Ranck asked if the sale of the sewer has been finalized.
Mr. Hensel replied no, the sale has not been finalized, that money should be set aside in a separate fund for future use.
The next budget meeting, the Board will choose an ambulance service.
There will be a 3% salary increase for the secretary, Mr. Walters stated he did not need a raise.
Mr. Taylor stated that the truck for the Public Works can be purchased out of the Liquid Fuels account. Mr. Herr will look into the rules for Liquid Fuels. The truck is for purchase in 2019.
Mr. Herr is projecting a loss in the sewer account. Accounting for the loss is the continued legal cost for the sale, and sewer expenses will put the sewer account pretty much out of cash. Mr. Hensel stated the legal cost should be done for the sewer. The only legal expenses would be with the trailer park if an agreement is not reached and have to go to the Supreme Court.
There is $680,000 in unpaid sewer bills. These will be separated into receivable liened and receivable not liened.
There could be a sewer increase of 5 or 6% or more. Mr. Reynolds suggested to raise the rates to 5% until July, to see if the sewer system sells, if there is no sale; reopen the sewer budget and raise the rates in July.
The date of November 28, 2017 will be the final budget date.
With there being no further business, 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.