Tentative Sewickley Twp. budget holds line on taxes |

Tentative Sewickley Twp. budget holds line on taxes

Sewickley property owners will be spared an increase in real estate taxes for 2015.

Township supervisors this week approved a tentative budget that keeps the tax rate at 10 mills to support the municipality’s operations, plus 2 mills for emergency services.

The three supervisors unanimously approved a $1,719,393 budget that increases expenditures by 2.4 percent over the 2014 budget of $1,678,585.

The township anticipates starting the new year with a $271,468 surplus, which is a decrease from the $534,772 revenue surplus projected for the beginning of 2014.

Sewickley expects to receive $475,000 from the 10-mill levy for general operations and $91,000 from the 2-mill levy for emergency services — the township fire departments, the Sewickley Township Community Ambulance Service and other emergency services.

Sewickley will receive $165,800 next year from the state’s Act 13 impact fee from natural gas drilling in the Marcellus shale reserves, down from $173,900 in 2014. The impact fee is based on the amount of drilling activity.

The township expects to spend about one-third of the budget — $504,981 — on various administrative and employee expenses, including $50,000 for Mike Volpe, the township’s new full-time public works director. The public works department is projected to cost $486,175, plus $113,000 for snow removal supplies and equipment.

Health care coverage for employees was budgeted to cost $200,000, the same amount as 2014. Despite a 20 percent increase in rates, supervisors renewed coverage with UPMC Health Plan.

Supervisor Joseph Kerber said the township’s contract with its employees requires UPMC Health Plan coverage.

The tentative budget, which was approved without comment, will be on display in the municipal building during regular office hours from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The spending plan is to be adopted during the supervisors’ Dec. 17 meeting.

In other matters, Volpe said that the Shaner Road Bridge was closed for safety issues, and an engineer will review the township’s options. One option might be to open the bridge to one lane of traffic and impose a 3-ton weight limit.

Janet Schork, township recreation director, said the Crabapple Pool made a small profit in the 2014 swimming season. The township will offer 2015 season passes at a 10 percent discount off the 2014 prices during December and January.

The supervisors also approved:

• A $7,961 disbursement from its emergency management services fund on behalf of the Hutchinson Fire Company to pay Kaza Fire Equipment Co. of Ebensburg for tool boards and shelves on a fire truck.

• A $9,761 disbursement from its emergency management services fund to reimburse the Sewickley Township Community Ambulance Service for buying a 2014 Ford E-350 Type II ambulance.

• The sale of the 1990 GMC Top Kick truck to Allan B. Fulmer Sr. for $2,663. The truck has a broken frame.

• Closing the township office at noon Dec. 19 for an employee Christmas party. Employees will be paid their wages while attending the party.

Joe Napsha is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-5252 or [email protected].

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