Delaware Cuts Township Tax By One Mill
Delaware Cuts Township Tax By One Mill
Pike County Dispatch Thursday December 22 ,2016
By, Wayne Witkowski
Dingmans Ferry-Delaware Township Supervisors made it official at their meeting last week that residents’ municipal taxes will be less in 2017.
The board unanimously approved a tax millage rate is 9.68 for the fiscal year, which is 1 mill less than last year’s taxes and the fourth drop in six years.
At the meeting, the board approved $1,239,023.24 in the General Fund budget. It also approved the Recreation budget, a $149,072.89 allotment that covers Akenac Park and the township ballfields. The 2016 allotment was $1,487.05.
The reduced tax rate is the lowest since 2006 when it was set at 6.68 mills.
The adjustment comes with most expenses staying about the same or increasing or decreasing slightly, including employee Pension Accounts, which is up from $49,179 for 2016 to a projected $51,000. The medical insurance holds steady at $80,000 set aside. There was an increase in rates, but fewer employees are covered so it remained the same. The payroll taxes also hold at $30,000.
The highway expense comes to $215,750, and maintenance of roads and bridges is $20,000 while winter road maintenance is $14,500. The budget also call for payment of $140,000 for the volunteer fire department and $4,000 to the township ambulance service.
Nearly half of the budget covers the general government cost of $517,100 that includes an outlay of $114,500 for government buildings’ supplies and maintenance and energy costs.
There also is a $1,950.29 savings coming off the new phones systems for township offices from Cloud Voice Communications. It covers the software for cell phones, enabling calls to be transferred from office to mobile phones of staffers in the field.
Supervisors John Henderson also said during the meeting that a $1,047 payment out of the Recreation fund for a Christmas tree at the township building was illegal because it was made prior to a vote of approval by the supervisors and asked that all credit card purchases in the future be reported.
“It’s not true that it’s illegal and it is an improper way of using township money,” said township Attorney Thomas Farley, but said supervisor Tom Ryan “took a risk to do it” to save the township money and. If it was not approved, Ryan would be obliged to repay the township out of pocket.
Road Turned Over To Camp
Also at the meeting, the supervisors approved executing an agreement between the township and Camp Speers for the township to vacate a portion of the township Route 360 on the part located on camp property. There was ongoing discussion for months about the agreement, in which the camp originally requested that the township resurface the road, but that request was later removed. Camp Director George Painter was on hands to thank the township for the agreement, which he said decreases the township’s liability and encourages what he feels will be an ongoing partnership with the township.
In workshop prior to the meeting, the supervisors discussed and then apparently rejected the idea of vacating Doodle Hollow Road. At one time an access to the post office that was razed and reopened in Nichecronk Road, Doodle Hollow Road leads to National Park Service property and a lake suited for hunting and fishing, but resident Steven McBride said the NPS has not been servicing the road, which led the supervisors to drop that idea to vacate it.
The Board also approved adopting the Pennsylvania Municipalities Pension Trust Act 44 Disclosure Statement but noted that the statement included donations to state politician. Attorney Farley said the donations are part of lobbying on behalf of the fund but the supervisors agreed it draft a letter objecting it that practice. Resident Len Glemann asked if those donations affect the pension fund, but Farley said it would not.
The township also accepted a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation land development per recommendations from the township’s Planning Commission at its Dec. 6 meeting, which would allow for PennDOT to build larger shed for its road salt. The township also has a smaller salt shed in the area.
The board approved renewing the lake management program for Akenac Park with Aquatic Environment Consultants Inc. of Scotland, Pa for $3,500 over three payments on May 1, June 1 and July 1.
Henderson raised the point that he had not gotten a response from Boucher & James regarding questions he posed in a correspondence on Nov. 29 regarding its study of Akenac Park facilities. They included his question of who designed the Rec Hall kitchen and about a ladder leading to the attic he felt was unsafe. It also included a measure of the safe load weight tolerance for the Rec Hall, saying it was not in accordance with the American Society of Civil Engineers. Boucher & James engineer Jon Tresslar, who attended the workshop, said the weight tolerance was grandfathered for the building, erected in the 1920s. As for the ladder, Ryan said it has since been removed.
Henderson said he wanted to be more involved with policies and decision-making with the board but Farley assured him that all issues had been presented at meetings he has attended and there have been no efforts to exclude him in correspondences.
Dec.28 Meeting Cancelled
The supervisors moved to cancel the Dec. 28 workshop and regular meeting. They approved the township reorganization date of Jan. 3 at 6:30 p.m. as well as the Planning Commission’s reorganization meeting of 6:30 p.m. for Jan. 17 and township auditor’s reorganization for 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 4.
They approved usage of the municipal hall for the Warrior Extreme Cheer from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Jan. 14 for a clothing drive fundraiser and the same group for an end of year party on March 4.