Happy New Year! No new taxes, balanced budget proposed for Warwick Township

By on November 22, 2016

For 27 years, the millage rate in Warwick Township has remained the same. The real estate tax in 2017 is expected to continue with that trend.

“The first draft of the budget does not call for an increase in the real estate tax for 2017,” reported Warwick Township Manager Daniel Zimmerman at the Nov. 16 supervisors meeting.

Supervisors approved the draft, which will be up for final vote in December. The proposed millage rate will remain at 0.0274, the same rate since 1990. The real estate tax on a home assessed at $200,000 is $54.80 in Warwick Township.

The draft of the 2017 budget comes in at $4,736,288, which represents a balanced budget with no deficit. Revenue for the budget comes from realty transfers, earned income tax, and building permits.

Expenditures are expected to be at $4,662,602. More than $600,000 is earmarked for maintenance and repairs to roads and bridges throughout the 87 miles of roadway maintained by the township.

One budget highlight includes expansion of the Warwick Emergency Services Commission, which directly supports local fire and ambulance services. The continued expansion of the regional rail trail path from Picnic Woods Road to Millway Road in 2017 is also being planned. The trail is set to open its expansion from Newport Road to Picnic Woods by late November or early December.

Expenditures also include support for the Northern Lancaster County Regional Police Department, which serves Warwick, Clay and Penn townships. The department is now in its sixth year of operation.

Continuation of the Capital Storm Water Replacement Program is also provided in the 2017 budget. This covers the replacement of more than 3,000 linear feet of pipe.

The pavilion at the Warwick Township Lions Park in Rothsville will be rehabilitated next year, and the township office will get some computer system upgrades, including GIS web-based software for property records and stormwater management facilities.

Zimmerman also noted that the Joint Regional Strategic Plan is underway in 2017, and that Warwick Township has no debt service and has a AA bond rating.

In other business, a public hearing was held for the Lititz Land Trust project, which is seeking modification of conditions for a residential complex that would combine age-restricted and open market housing. The property is located at Highlands Drive and West Seventh Street near Woodridge Swim Club. The developer is Daniel Cicala, who attended the hearing to point out that the original plan for the complex has been changed to accommodate the steep site.

Initially, Cicala planned to build 73 units, which was approved in May 2012. The revised plan now calls for just 55 units, with 23 for 55+ residents and 32 for open market. The new plan has 96 parking spots, but the developer may need to add more spots to meet the township’s ordinance. There are additional parking spaces available at an adjacent business lot.

“We think you will be able to make it work,” said Supervisor Herb Flosdorf.

The 6.5 acre site is mainly located in Warwick Township, with the 5.1 acres in Warwick and 1.4 acres in Lititz Borough.

Cicala reported that the units would range from 800- to 1,000-square-feet, with one- and two-bedroom residences. He adjusted the plan to make it more workable on the hilly site.

Parking spots were also an issue for Victory Church on East Newport Road. The growing church has seating capacity for 200 and is usually nearly full. Unfortunately, the church building came equipped with only 23 parking spaces. Church-goers have to park on the grass.

At the supervisors meeting, church officials were asking for a waiver for a land development plan to proceed with putting in a gravel parking lot before the winter weather arrives and makes parking a muddy mess.

Supervisors agreed that Victory Church can put in a temporary gravel parking lot with room for approximately 100 more spaces. They gave conditional approval for the lot, which will eventually be paved and provide a total of up to 130 parking spaces for the church.

Road Superintendent Dean Saylor reported that the rail trail extension is coming along nicely and should be open to the public during Thanksgiving week. They have been applying a trail mix to create the right surface for the trail.

Saylor also noted that the township is preparing for winter weather, getting spreaders ready and keeping tabs on salt supplies.

“Let’s hope winter will be kind,” he said.

Laura Knowles is a freelance reporter who covers the Warwick Township municipal beat for the Record Express. She welcomes questions and comments at lknowles21@gmail.com.

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