$28.5M bud­get won’t raise taxes in 2019

The Phoenix - - FRONT PAGE - By Evan Brandt [email protected]­tu­ry­media.com @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

The $28.5 mil­lion bud­get unan­i­mously adopted by the board of su­per­vi­sors Dec. 18 will not raise prop­erty taxes in 2019.

Al­though taxes will not go up, some in­ci­den­tal fees for town­ship ser­vices, like those paid by de­vel­op­ers and those who want po­lice cov­er­age by off-duty of­fi­cers, will go up next year as the re­sult of a sep­a­rate unan­i­mous vote taken the same night.

Specif­i­cally, the 2019 bud­get an­tic­i­pates spend­ing $28,476,433 with an un­changed mill­age rate of 2.593 mills.

One thing dif­fer­ent over the 2018 bud­get will be the com­plete ab­sence of debt.

That’s thanks to the $75.1 mil­lion Au­gust sale of the town­ship’s sewer sys­tem to Aqua PA.

That money not only re­tired all the sewer sys­tem’s debt, with a tech­ni­cal ex­cep­tion, but will also pay off the $3.5 mil­lion left on the debt for the new pub­lic works fa­cil­ity, the new Lim­er­ick fire­house and the $5.2 mil­lion the town­ship bor­rowed to com­plete the $10.5 mil­lion town­ship build­ing.

Both were bank loans and can be paid off any time, said As­sis­tant Town­ship Man­ager Beth DiPrete, who said the move saves $1 mil­lion in in­ter­est pay­ments.

What will re­main is $3 mil­lion from a 2015 town­ship bond that can­not be paid off un­til 2020, she said. Some of that money was old sewer debt and the rest was used to pur­chase the Lin­field Sports Park.

With all debts paid, the town­ship will still have about $55 mil­lion on hand, which it in­tends to

in­vest in the hopes of us­ing the pro­ceeds of that in­vest­ment to pay for cap­i­tal projects and in­creased costs that come down the pike.

DiPrete also said $20,000 from the 2018 bud­get set aside for the de­sign of a new town­ship seal was not spent and has been car­ried into the 2019 bud­get, when that work will be done.

The 2019 bud­get also in­cludes a con­tracted 3 per­cent raise for the town­ship’s po­lice de­part­ment. The board also ap­proved the con­tracted re­duc­tion of the po­lice em­ployee con­tri­bu­tion to their pen­sion plan from 5 per­cent to 2 per­cent.

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