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West Penn officials continue budget work

Published November 12. 2010 05:00PM

West Penn Township officials continued to work to balance a 2011 budget without having to increase the property tax.

Supervisors on Thursday held their second public budget meeting; a third is planned for 6 p.m.; Nov. 23.

Currently, one mill generates $114,646.96, said treasurer Karen Wittig. With the tax rate at 4.74 mills, the township expects to bring in $544,573 in revenue. But a half-mill of that is set aside for fire protection, bringing that down to $487,250.

As it stood Thursday, the township was looking at revenues of $1,582,239 and expenditures of $2,067,180, leaving a $484,941 shortfall. Wittig said $350,000 could be used to help make ends meet, but that it still wouldn't be enough to balance the budget. She said a one-mill tax increase would be needed to balance the budget, given the current figures.

"That's not going to happen," said supervisors chairman Al Martinez.

Much more work is needed to pare down the spending plan.

Martinez said the township is still negotiating contracts, and also must factor in hefty engineering fees from the township's Act 537 plan upgrades. He also wants to talk with Penn Mahoning Ambulance Association president Don Handwerk, who in October told the board the group will need a new ambulance next year. Currently, the township sets aside $20,000 a year to help support the organization.

In other matters, Martinez said the township needs a volunteer to help review the township's proposed comprehensive plan, and someone to serve on the planning commission.

Police Chief Brian Johnson said he is seeking applications from those interested in the part-time police officer position that has recently opened.

Supervisors reminded residents that the West Penn Lions Club will host a Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the township annex at Route 309 and Municipal Road from 4-9 p.m. Dec. 4. The event will include cookies and song.

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