Rush Township residents will not be seeing an increase in their taxes next year.
Chairman of the board of supervisors Steve Simchak read a prepared statement regarding the preliminary 2011 budget for the township at a brief meeting yesterday. The total operating budget for the township will be $3,096,350.51.
"Millage will remain at 5.62 mills," he said. "There will be no layoffs of our full-time staff members for the next year. We will continue to outsource specific services, as this has proved to be cost effective."
In particular, the township will continue to outsource payroll and the collection of the sanitary sewer fees.
The township is not without its problems, however.
"Thirty-five miles of township roads have been neglected and are in dire need of repairs," read Simchak.
The township should receive approximately $100,000 in liquid fuel money from the state, a decrease since last year.
"General operational expenses continue to rise as part of normal operational obligations," he added, thanking the township's department heads for being prudent and attempting to keep costs low for the township.
Another issue is the fact that real estate value in the township has decreased.
"One mill in 2010 was worth $107,834.48," said Simchak. "One mill in 2011 will be worth $106,833.96, which is a decrease of $100.52 per mill."
Simchak warned that "some very tough choices will have to be made moving forward."
Supervisor Robert Leibensperger cited several state and federal mandates that the township is required to fulfill, even though they are not funded by either, including Acts 167 and 32, related to county wide storm water management and tax collection and the sign management program.
"We are continually challenged as we investigate a variety of alternatives to allow for required operations without reduction of service levels to our residents," said Simchak.
One bright spot in the budget is the possible reduction of the township's garbage rates from $150 to $140, based on the bid openings at the last township meeting. The new garbage contract will begin in March, 2011.
A handful of residents attended the short meeting, which was adjourned after Simchak presented the overview and he and Leibensperger voted to approve the preliminary budget. Supervisor Shawn Gilbert was not in attendance. Former supervisor Marion Lazur asked for a public participation session, however, she was informed that there was no need for a public participation session and the preliminary budget is now available at the township building for the public to review.