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Lower Towamensing Township to hold line on taxes

Published December 09. 2009 05:00PM

Lower Towamensing Township plans to hold the line on property taxes next year.

The township's board of supervisors announced on Tuesday that the tentative 2010 budget shows no increase in property taxes.

If such a budget were to be adopted, the property tax rate would remain at 1.6 mills.

That means the owner of a home valued at $100,000, which would be assessed at $50,000, would again pay $80 to the township in property taxes.

Supervisors Chairman Ron Walbert said the budget calls for $1,637,226 in revenue, and $1,002,244 in expenditures.

"Fiscally speaking, I think we're in pretty good shape," Walbert said.

Resident Peter Terp congratulated the board for its diligence.

"I'd like to commend you all for [holding the line on taxes]," Terp said.

The township expects to grant the budget final adoption at its year-end meeting at 9 a.m. Dec. 22.

This year's budget called for a 5 percent raise in the light tax, which raised it from 25 cents to 30 cents per front foot for Aquashicola residents who live within 250 feet of street light.

That cost was the result of the expected increase in energy costs as of Jan. 1, 2010.

Also as part of that budget, supervisors increased the township's contribution rate of the local services tax to the Aquashicola Fire Department, from 25 percent to 28 percent.

Also on Tuesday, Judy Borger, director of planning and development for the Carbon County Office of Planning, held the first of two public hearings on Community Development Block Grant funding.

Borger said the five entitlement communities in the county - Palmerton, Lehighton, Jim Thorpe, Lansford and Franklin Township - are expected to receive a total of $272,462 in CDBG funding next year.

She said Lower Towamensing is among the 18 non-entitlement communities in the county that isn't eligible to receive the funds.

Borger said the deadline for entitlement communities to submit their application to receive the funds is Dec. 18.

In an unrelated matter, supervisors heard from a resident who has a property located in Little Gap Estates.

Jeff Prinz questioned supervisors why he still had to pay a garbage bill for a property he bought about five years ago.

"I've had to pay a garbage fee even though no one is living there," Prinz said. "The home is uninhabitable."

Township solicitor Jim Nanovic told supervisors his recommendation is to have township zoning officer Duane Dellecker take a look at the property.

"If the house is habitable, have Duane got out and look at it," Nanovic said. "If it's not habitable, I don't think we make him pay for garbage."

In other business, supervisors:

- Agreed on a 2-1 vote, with Hahn opposed, to send secretary Christine Wentz to visit with S&O Computers in Summit Hill to discuss garbage software.

- Tabled a request to hire Kirk, Summa & Co., LLP, as auditors for 2010.

- Agreed to pay Brosky Insurance $11,710, an increase of $121 from this year's $11,589, for a renewal quote.

- Granted permission to the Census Bureau to utilize the township municipal building.

- Announced supervisors will hold their reorganizational meeting at 3 p.m. Jan. 4. A regular board of supervisors meeting will follow.

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