Bed­min­ster Town­ship cuts job due to drop in new con­struc­tion

News-Herald (Perkasie, PA) - - ON THE RECORD - By Bob Keeler

In 2003, there were 18 new homes built in Bed­min­ster. In 2004, it was 11. The fol­low­ing year, 2005, it spiked up to 264, fol­lowed by 172 in 2006, ac­cord­ing to town­ship fig­ures ac­com­pa­ny­ing the 2013 bud­get.

By 2011, it was back down to 32. For 2012, the num­ber of new homes as of the end of Novem­ber was 33.

“New house con­struc­tion’s at a 10year low,” Bed­min­ster Town­ship Board of Su­per­vi­sors Chair­man Mor­gan Cow­perth­waite said at the board’s Dec. 28 year-end meet­ing.

“You hear about all this new con­struc­tion, but I don’t know who’s do­ing it,” Cow­perth­waite said. “Not around here.”

With the slow­down, a part-time worker in the town­ship’s land use of­fice was laid off in De­cem­ber 2011. The move saved the town­ship about $10,000 per year, of­fi­cials said at the time.

At the Dec. 28, 2012, meet­ing, a sep­a­ra­tion agree­ment with Dawn Cook, the town­ship’s land use ad­min­is­tra­tor, was ap­proved and the po­si­tion was elim­i­nated in a re­struc­tur­ing of town­ship jobs. The land use part of the job had been cou­pled with an­other one as ad­min­is­tra­tor of the Bed­min­ster Mun­ci­pal Author­ity to form one full-time job. The BMA is now go­ing to con­tract out that part of the job, Jack Terry, town­ship man­ager, said.

With the elim­i­na­tion of the land use ad­min­is­tra­tor po­si­tion, two other town­ship em­ploy­ees will have their hours in­creased, but the sav­ings to the town­ship will be about $35,000 per year, he said.

The BMA has been re­im­burs­ing the town­ship for the BMA ad­min­is­tra­tor part of the job, which won’t be hap­pen­ing any longer, he said.

“We lose on the rev­enue side, but we save on the ex­pen­di­ture side,” Terry said.

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