Thursday, December 20, 2018

$3 West Pottsgrove Budget Won't Hike Taxes, Balances Using $1.3M from Landfill Reserve Fund

West Pottsgrove commissioners, from left, Thomas Palladino, Charles Valentine, Township Manager Craig Lloyd, Secretary Joanne Herb, Chairman Steve Miller, Solicitor Charles Bresnan, and commissioners Matt Green and Pete LaRosa during Wednesday night's meeting.

Township commissioners unanimously adopted a $3 million 2019 budget Wednesday night at the last meeting of the year.

The budget -- actual spending is $3,067,434 -- requires no tax hike. The tax rate will remain at 2.5 mills, where .

More than 43 percent of the budget is covered by drawing out of the reserve account the township has from years of collecting tipping fees at the Pottstown Landfill, which closed in 2007.

Township Manager Craig Lloyd said the budget uses $1,322,473 of reserve funds to be balanced and keep taxes steady.

He said the 2018 budget used $1.5 million of the reserve fund, which once had as much as $40
million, and still has about $15 million left, the same amount it has held at least since at least 2013.

That was also the last year the township raised taxes.

Some projects budgeted for 2018 were pushed off to 2019, which is why less was needed from the reserve fund, Lloyd explained.

The primary project in that category is the replacement of the township's street lights with LED lights, a project that will cost West Pottsgrove about $45,000.

However, the change will save the township abut $15,000 a year, meaning it will break even in only three years, and enjoy the savings in the following years, he said.

Other budget related plans for 2019 include storm sewer work on School Lane, for which the township has a grant, and sanitary sewer work on Sylvan Drive, which will be undertaken by the township's sewer authority and for which a Community Development Block Grant will help to pay.

Other factors affecting the budget are a 3 percent contracted salary increase for the township's police officers. 2019 will be the third year of a three-year contract and negotiations on a new contract will begin around March, Lloyd said.

Other Police News

It was announced that Police Chief Matthew Stofflet has been invited to attend the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va.

After an executive session to discuss personnel, the township commissioners voted unanimously to put Corporal Brian Cass in charge of the department for the 10 weeks Stofflet will be at Quantico.

Also, two of the department's part-time officers have been offered full time jobs and will be leaving. The commissioners also voted unanimously to give Stofflet permission to hire two part-time officers to replace them.

And with that, here are the Tweets from the meeting:

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