Budget season opens with Elizabeth Twp. No real estate tax, again, in $545,000 plan
By: MELINDA S. ELMER Record Express Correspondent, Staff Writer
Elizabeth Township supervisors adopted their final 2013 budget on Monday. The plan calls for almost $545,000 in spending while retaining the municipality’s long-standing tradition of no real estate tax.
Most of the township’s income is derived from earned income taxes, which amounts to $350,000. The total anticipated revenue for 2013 is $543,550, and the small deficit will be covered by reserve funds. The township has about $1.5 million in reserves. Some other points of interest in the upcoming year’s budget:
? The township’s General Fund asset total is $1,566,182.
? Highway maintenance comprises the township’s biggest expense at $164,125, and $120,000 of that is covered by state fuel taxes.
? The asset total in the Parks & Recreation Account is $19,109.
? Supervisors pay remains the same as last year. The township secretary’s salary was increased from $45,000 to $47,000.
There was little public discussion on the budget prior to approval.
In other township news:
Lieutenant Jeremy Richard from Troop J of the Pennsylvania State Police reported crime statistics for Elizabeth Township so far in 2012. There were 50 vehicle crashes involving either injury or towing and 13 minor crashes. That is an increase of 19 percent in major crashes and a decrease of 62 percent in minor crashes. Similar percentages appear countywide, possibly due to the light winter last season.
There were six drug incidents and 10 DUI arrests this year. The DUI arrests were up from last year because of in increased police presence in the area.
Police reported 34 thefts, one burglary, 22 assaults and six disorderly conduct arrests. There were 11 reports of suspicious persons and five reports of suspicious vehicles in the township. Police assisted 23 motorists with various problems.
In total, state police responded to 462 incidents in Elizabeth Township during the first 11 months of 2012, a drop of 9 percent compared to last year.
The District Attorney’s Drug Task Force reported no activity in Elizabeth Township.
Residents may contact the state police by calling 911 for emergencies or 299-7656 for non-emergencies. Crime tips may be reported at pacrimestoppers.org or 1-800-4PA-TIPS. In Lancaster County, see lancastercrimestoppers.org or text LANCS plus a message to 84741. Crime stoppers may remain anonymous and may be eligible for cash rewards.
In other business, Supervisor Rodney May reported that the breaching of the Speedwell Forge Lake dam is basically complete, with no violations observed by the Conservation District.
Timothy Diehm was reappointed to the Vacancy Board for 2013, Kenneth Weaver was reappointed to a three-year term on the Zoning Hearing Board, and Richard Bergey and Eileen Lieberman were reappointed to four-year terms on the Planning Commission.
Gwenn Newell of the Lancaster County Planning Commission reported that the updated Lititz-Warwick-Elizabeth Joint Strategic Plan should be completed by March, 2013. Although it is called IMPACT 2017 and may be considered to be a five-year plan, supervisors unanimously voted to retain the plan for 10 years.
Resident Barry Lieberman noted that "Dogs are becoming a problem in the park again" by running loose and leaving dog debris. Supervisor May replied that the problem reoccurs each year at this time as fewer people use the park and some owners take advantage of the smaller number of observers. Supervisor Chairman Barry Wiker suggested looking at installing doggy waste stations, as well as checking how other local parks handle the situation. He prefers to find a solution to the problem rather than banning dogs from the park.
The supervisors noted that PennDOT has not completed the intersection and signal work at Rts. 501 and 322. The traffic signal control in the roadbed needs to be repaired. The road is very bumpy now. Supervisors voted to give PennDOT two weeks to finish the work and then they will ask the local road crew to make repairs.
"It’s been two months. Our residents use that intersection," May said. "We can send (PennDOT) the bill, but they won’t pay it."
May also wondered "what it would take for Windstream to be proactive and trim the trees near their lines. They wait until the limbs fall in a storm, and the fire company and road crew have to go out and take care of it. It puts a strain on the volunteers (from the fire company). PPL trims the trees well, but they don’t touch the ones by the phone lines. You would think they’d be proactive and work together."
Wiker and May thanked the staff for "all their efforts to make the township what it is. And thanks to the residents who come out every month. It is appreciated. It helps to see heads nodding out there."
The Elizabeth Township Supervisors wish everyone a Merry Christmas!
In other business:
? The Brickerville Fire Company responded to 17 fire calls, 40 ambulance calls and 13 fire police incidents in November.
? The zoning officer issued three permits in November for work valued at $41,627.
? The sewage enforcement officer issued one permit for a repair in November.
? Road Superintendent Glenn Martin reported repairs made to the Segloch Road bridge because of damage from Tropical Storm Lee in 2011 that was worsened by ATV riders. The rock was stabilized, the road base was repaired and new walls were installed on both sides of the bridge. Martin also reported turf repairs at Elizabeth Township Park. He and May thanked Mike Miller of Critter Catcher for help with the seeding; and Ken Weaver, Sonny Ebersol, Tom Moyer, Rufina Ebersol and Bill Coleman of Elizabeth Farms, and employees, for their volunteer efforts in helping to plant trees in the park.
? The fall issue of The Elizabethan, the township’s newsletter, is available online at co.lancaster.pa.us/elizabethtwp/lib/elizabethtwp/2012_fall_newsletter.pdf.
Please call the office at 626-4302 for a paper copy.
? The Lititz Library provides a free story hour for preschoolers and a caregiver the second Friday of each month at 10 a.m. at the municipal building. No pre-registration is needed. Call the library at 626-2255 for information.
? The monthly collection of recyclables will be on Saturday, Jan. 5, from 8 until noon at the municipal building on South View Drive. The Christmas tree drop-off area will be available as well. Volunteers are needed for 2013.
? The Planning Commission will meet on Wednesday, Jan. 2, at 7 p.m.
? The Board of Supervisors will meet on Monday, Jan. 7, at 7 p.m. at the municipal building at 423 South View Drive, Brickerville. More ELIZABETH TWP., page A19