East Cocalico passes $5.6 million budget

By on December 27, 2017

By a 2-1 vote, the proposed $5.6 million East Cocalico Township 2018 budget passed at supervisors’ Dec. 21 meeting.

Voting for adoption was chairman, Doug Mackley and vice-chairman, Alan Fry. Voting against budget adoption was secretary, Noelle Fortna.

Fortna indicated earlier in the meeting that, “I voted against the tax increase and I will not be voting to adopt the budget.”

Fortna voted against the 2.5 percent tax increase, slated to bring in about $37,500, because she felt the township will have increased revenue with the amount of development taking place and there were items in the budget which could be cut.

Previously, when questioned by residents to identify places in the budget which could be cut, she declined to comment.

The tax rate is 1.646 mills. For each $100 of assessed value, residents will pay $16.46. A home assessed at $100,000 would owe $164.60, which equals a 2.49 percent increase over last year.

Jason Wellman, resident and Rec Board member, asked why the township doesn’t show budget projections beyond the next year. Wellman said that expertise in doing this is “out there and available to supervisors. It’s what most businesses do.”

Romao Carrasco, resident and new supervisor starting in January, asked Fortna about her projections used to analyze the budget and conclude the township will be okay fiscally through the next two years. “I’ll be interested in seeing how you arrived at this conclusion,” he said.

After the meeting Fortna said that she never stated any documentation existed. Her conclusions were based on her many years of working on and studying the budget.

Transfers of unallocated monies totaling just under $400,000 from the general fund and the capital reserve checking account were rolled over to balance the budget.

In other business:

  • Following a short executive session, Mackley said, “It gives me great pleasure to announce that we plan to interview acting Officer-In-Charge, Sergeant Derrick Keppley, for our police chief position on Jan. 2. We’ll include a Denver Borough representative since they contract police service from us.” Police Chief, Terry Arment, will retire Jan 15.
  • Zoning officer, Tony Luongo, reported 3 new single family dwellings in November. “This is an increase from the customary one dwelling per month,” Luongo said, “Last year we issued 280 permits. So far this year we’ve issued 310. This year the value of commercial permits totaled over 50 million, with 26 million of this amount for UGI’s new, corporate headquarters.”
  • Supervisors authorized Union Barrel Works to temporarily close the first block of North Reamstown Read on New Year’s Eve from 11:30 p.m. – 12:15 a.m. for the annual dropping of the barrel to ring in the New Year.
  • Scott Russell, township manager, announced that the new, $7,045 phone system arrived and will be installed shortly.

 

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