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Township Residents Express Hatred For EIT Concept

 

Township Residents Express Hatred For EIT Concept
By: Kenneth Books
Pike County Dispatch – Thursday, March 10, 2016

 

 

 

DINGMANS FERRY-If the Delaware Township Supervisors decide to implement an Earned Income Tax (EIT), they may be looking at a revolution, if the resounding opposition to the tax is any indication.

Some 200 residents crowded into a standing-room-only informational meeting about the tax Wednesday, March 2, speaking out against it, threatening the supervisors and generally showing their disdain for any such levy.

 

The meeting was ostensibly an informational session, featuring representatives from Berkheimer, which would administer the tax for an annual fee of about $15,000. But many in the crowd were convinced that the session was window-dressing for a plan to implement the tax and many said that would result in the supervisors being voted out of office at the first possible election.

“This tax will do nothing but shift the tax burden from those not working to those struggling to support their families,” one resident charged, a sentiment that was shared by many of those who spoke out against the EIT.

Greg Helstrom noted that many residents live in private communities that are responsible for their own roads, and there is no need for a new tax, a comment that drew widespread applause.

 

 But Supervisor Chairman Jeff Scheetz said an EIT would be designed to reduce property taxes, to which the crowd responded with catcalls.  Scheetz said the informational session was not a sign that the tax is imminent or has already been decided upon.  He repeated that statement several times during the heated meeting, but many residents obviously were not buying it.

“We have no hidden agenda,” Scheetz said.  “This may be the last you ever hear about an EIT in Delaware Township.”  The crowd applauded loudly and one resident called out, “It better be.”

 

 An EIT, according to Berkheimer Field Representative Pearl Salvo, is the same as a wage tax, levied on all who earn more than $12,000 per year.

Berkheimer Director of Governmental Relations James Hunt said it is used in 90 of the 2,562 municipalities in Pennsylvania.  It can be assessed on non-residents working within the commonwealth and would be levied not only on wages, but also on stock options.

Pensions, Social Security, welfare and active military pay would be exempt, he said.

The tax is based on residence, with the money remaining in the community in which the taxpayer is employed, Hunt said.  He said 637 Delaware Township residents already pay an EIT where they work, yielding about $85,000 in municipal revenue.

 

“How often can the township raise and EIT?” asked Karen Hagen.  Hunt said the maximum tax has been 1 percent since 1965 and can be raised only through a referendum.  He added that non-payment would result in a penalty of 1 percent per month on the out-standing balance.  While Scheetz said any EIT would be used to reduce property taxes, Hunt said there is no limit on what the tax could be used for.  “Basically, it’s a free hand,” he said.

 Throughout the meeting, residents shouted their opposition to the EIT, visibly fraying Scheetz’s nerves.  He threatened to end the meeting “much earlier than you want,” if people continued to call out.

 

While Scheetz continually stressed that the tax was not a done deal, Ronne Tener would have none of it. “This is raising taxes,” she said.

 

Scheetz attempted to silence Tener’s comments, but was met with cries of “let her speak.”

Dave Schuller struck a note that was repeated frequently, noting that seasonal residents, the unemployed and Section 8 residents would not pay the tax, “so you’re hurting the working people of Delaware Township.  This is unacceptable.”

 

David Jones said and EIT would “deter people from moving here.  It would not only hurt business, but it would drive wealthier people out and replace them with people who don’t work.  We’re going in the wrong direction.”

The residents didn’t believe an EIT would reduce taxes, partly because Scheetz couldn’t say precisely what the tax would be used for, a stance that drew criticism from Claire Bennett, among others.

 

Steve McBride said an EIT would simply be an additional tax, not a replacement for property taxes."If we had an EIT and property tax, there would be two taxes that could be raised on us,” he said.

Barbara Bonney questioned why an EIT was even being discussed, considering that the township has a surplus.  Scheetz said much of the surplus is already earmarked for township requirements.

“All we hear is taxes, taxes, taxes,” said one resident.  “I think you should turn this down for everybody.  We don’t want another tax.”

 And Steve Callandrino pointed out that most township roads are state roads, “I don’t see where the township provides anything for us,” he said.  He also said Berkheimer was not the proper organization to present the EIT to the residents, since it will profit if the tax is enacted.

No mention was made whether the tax would be discussed further at future township meetings.

 

Supervisors Look Ahead To Warmer Weather

 Supervisors Look Ahead To Warmer Weather
By: Kenneth Books
Pike County Dispatch – Thursday, March 3, 2016

 Dingmans Ferry- Spring is in the sights of the Delaware Township Supervisors.

The supervisors passed motions dealing with Easter, summer help and improvements to Akenac Park at their Wednesday, Feb 24, meeting.

Several motions had to do with the township Easter egg hunt, scheduled for Saturday, March 12, rain or shine, at Akenac Park.

The supervisors approved the purchase of supplies, for the hunt, not to exceed $700, OK’d the Lions Club to provide coffee, tea and hot chocolate and agreed to assign a constable to the event, which will run from 1 to 2:30pm and include pictures with the Easter Bunny, crafts and prizes, while they last.  The supplies whose purchase the supervisors approved include such items as eggs, candy, dye and face paint.

Warm weather is just around the corner, and the supervisors agreed to advertise for several seasonal jobs.

Part-time gatekeepers for Akenac Park at a rate not to exceed $8 per hour for a maximum of 30 hours a week will be sought for Memorial Day through Labor Day.  In 2015, four such gatekeepers were hired at a cost slightly more than $8,000, according to township secretary Krista Predmore.  The 2016 budget for the positions is $9,000, she said.

Part-time lifeguards are also sought at a rate of no more than $10 per hour for a maximum of 30 hours per week, also from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  Predmore said their jobs will include raking the beach, enforcing rules and other activities in addition to serving as first responders in case of emergency.

Finally, an ad will be placed to find a part-time maintenance/road crew helper at a rate not to exceed $10 for a maximum of 35 hours per week from May through Sept.1.  In 2015, the township hired just one such person, who performs such tasks as grass mowing and road maintenance.

It was agreed to hire Van Jahnke Plumbing and Heating to install a tankless water heater at the Akenac Park Recreation Building.  Three bids were received for the work:  Van Janke Plumbing & Heating, $4,157.60; Combined Energy Services, $3,492.94; and Kocher’s Water Pumps & Tanks, $6,680. 

The bids were reviewed be Boucher &James, Inc., which found that the Combined Energy Services proposal would likely result in additional costs to connect to the water system.  The Kocher’s and Van Jahnke bids were similar, said Township Engineer Jon Tresslar, resulting in a recommendation to accept the Van Jahnke bid.

An estimate from Combined Energy Services was accepted for the Akenac Park kitchen of $4,800.  The project will involve upgrading the existing piping for space heaters, fireplace and outside barbecues and providing piping for the new kitchen appliances, water heaters and furnaces.

PEEC Events at Akenac

The Pocono Environmental Education Center (PEEC) was given approval for use of Akenac Park for a summer camp every Wednesday from July 6 through Aug. 17 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.  It will also use the park for several one-day activities.  They are: May 28, July 2 and Sept 3, 2:30 to 5:30 pm, for Family Nature Weekends; July 10, 1 to 3pm, for pond exploration; July 17 and Aug. 7, 1 to 3pm, canoeing or, if the equipment is not available, pond exploration; July 24, 3 to 4:30pm, interpretive walk, focusing on plants, birds and natural history; and Aug. 20, 10am to noon, interpretive walk.

PEEC was also granted the use of the Quarry for fossil study March 4 from 9am to 1pm.An expenditure of $1,779.53 was approved for new street and road signs.  According to Road Master Charlie Kroener, nearly 30 signs will be replaced.  He said many are defaced and lack reflectivity and several are bent.

An expenditure of $932 was approved for Home Depot to replace existing Rec hall toilets, sinks and faucets, which are cracked and broken from use, Supervisor Chairman Jeffrey Scheetz brandished a photo of some of the fixtures showing the amount of wear and tear. 

Earned Income Tax Meeting

A special supervisors meeting regarding Earned Income Tax is scheduled for Wednesday, March 2, at 7pm Scheetz said the meeting would be a chance to listen and comment.  He expects a full house.

Scheetz also announced the annual Dingmans Ferry Lions Club fish fry will take place at the township building Friday, March 4, from 5:30 to 7:30pm.

Supervisor John Henderson said any resident who wishes to see the improvements that have been made at Akenac Park can contact him and he will conduct a walk-through.

 

2016 Seasonal Help Wanted

Lifeguards Wanted

Seeking lifeguards for Akenac Park.  Duties and responsibilities will include enforcing all facility policies, rules and regulations.  Recognize and respond effectively to emergencies.  Thorough knowledge and application of lifeguarding surveillance and rescue techniques.  Leadership qualities and public relations skills necessary.  Inspect the facility on daily basis and report unsafe conditions and/or equipment to supervisor.  Complete records and reports as required.  Complete additional duties as assigned by supervisor.  Perform various maintenance duties as directed to maintain a clean and safe facility.  Must be CPR and lifeguard/lakefront Certified.  Please send resume to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or send fax to (570) 828-8705.

 

Maintenance/Road Crew Help Wanted

 

Seeking independent and skilled individual to maintain and repair roads and public grounds to include, but not limited to:  trimming of grass, shrubbery, and trees; minor construction and renovations; assembling and positioning of various items of playground pieces;  performing asphalt hole-patching repair, brush and tree removal, mowing and related maintenance and repair.  Assists with sign replacement.  Provides maintenance for facilities and storage yard, including sweeping, cleaning, painting and other general maintenance.  Assists with replacing or repairing culverts, road and ditch pipes, tiles, and other drainage structures.  Shovels crushed stone, sand, asphalt and salt from trucks.  Responsible for guiding traffic through construction zones. Maintenance and repair of facilities to include, but not limited to:  snow removal around entrance ways, sidewalks and parking areas; maintain a clean and efficient work area; assume total routine tasks, including sweeping, scrubbing, dusting, and polishing floors, washing walls, cleaning rest rooms, windows, walks and fixtures, and performs minor painting and general repair work; request the requisition of cleaning and maintenance supplies and equipment.  Performs all other duties as assigned.  Must be 18 years old and in possession of a valid driver's license.  Plowing experience a must.  Ability to follow written and verbal instructions and complete daily work reports.  Ability to physically perform the essential duties of the position.  Hours are Monday – Friday at 35 hours per week.  Send resume via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via fax to 570-828-8705.  No phone calls please.

 

Part-Time Seasonal Gatekeepers

 

Part-time seasonal gatekeepers for Akenac Park wanted.  Must be reliable and self-motivated.  Please send resume to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or send fax to (570) 828-8705.

 

 

 

 

 

Temporary Closure of Route 209 due to flooding

February 25, 2016

Good afternoon folks,

Due to flooding from last night and today's rain, Route 209 is closed between Toms Creek and Briscoe Mountain Road due to flooding from run-off.  We have the road open for a short time right now with rangers guiding one-lane traffic flow because an MVA on Milford Road (the alternative route) has that road closed temporarily.  Once Milford Road/2001 re-opens, 209 will once again be closed through the evening and until further notice.  

 Additionally, Route 615 in NJ is closed between Pompey Ridge Road and the Flatbrookville Bridge because of flooding.

 The Delaware River is closed until river levels receded to below 15' at the Montague gauge.  We are hovering just above that mark right now and the river is expected to crest this evening then recede.  We do not anticipate any flooding from the river.  

Follow river levels at:

 http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=bgm&gage=mtgn4&prob_type=stage&source=hydrograph

 --

Kathleen Sandt

Public Affairs Specialist

National Park Service

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area

(O) 570-426-2472

(C) 570-234-9144

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