Budget discussions continue
The Lehigh Township Board of Supervisors recently thanked Police Chief Scott Fogel for a job well done on the revised budget request.
The supervisors discussed the budget at the Oct. 28 meeting.
Vice Chair Supervisor Sandy Hopkins asked her fellow supervisors if the draft budget prepared by township Manager Alice Rehrig included a tax increase.
The draft was $126,449 short in terms of revenue. Rehrig said a number of items would have to be reduced to meet the requirements for a no tax increase.
Supervisor Darryl Snover asked if the police vehicle could be postponed for another year to allow for purchasing a vehicle without financing. He also questioned the need for a larger scan tool.
According to Rehrig, $20,000 was a match for a state grant to buy a $40,000 truck.
Supervisor Cindy Miller said she wants to postpone the purchase.
Supervisor Keith Hantz commented the township cannot continue to cut back on budgetary items.
"To save for the future, I am not adverse to one-half-mill tax increase," Snover said. The increase would provide just under $126,000.
Miller said the Capital Improvement Plan was a useful tool for the supervisors to use to determine ways to cut back on purchases.
The township met its goals of road improvements and assisting the fire company during the past year. Some roadwork planned for 2015 has already been completed.
Fire Chief Rick Hildebrand said the fire company needs an account for maintenance, which may reach $10,000. Snover said the township has been trying to provide the company with an increase. A donation of $130,000 will be used for equipment.
Miller said she anticipates tax revenue with the sale of the monastery, but the sale has not been finalized.
Since pipe permits for the roads have not been received, Rehrig said that purchase could be postponed..
Miller emphasized she does not want a tax increase. Snover asked how the township can meet long-term goals without increasing taxes.
Board members are to bring recommendations to the next meeting.
A Dec. 23 meeting has been tentatively scheduled if it becomes necessary to complete the budget.
Resident Dan Ifkowitz said he has always been in favor of small tax increases rather than waiting for a large increase.
In other business, a letter of resignation was received from Dave Turner, a member of the recreation board. The number of members of the recreation board was reduced from 7 to 5 to make it easier to find sufficient members.
An executive session was held both before and after the meeting to discuss the collective bargaining agreement.
Litigation concerning a feasibility study for a change to the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System as it affects Hills of Greenock and tasking Hanover with a study was discussed before the meeting.