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Franklin Twp. retains current tax rate

Published November 24. 2010 05:00PM

Franklin Township's property taxes and municipal fees will remain at their current rates through 2011.

At their regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday night, the Franklin Township board of supervisors tentatively adopted a 2011 budget that will see no tax or fee increases.

The supervisors were planning to retain last year's millage rates of 6.30 mills for general funds, .537 mills for the capital reserve building fund, and .800 mills on properties within 780 feet of fire hydrants, a goal that is expected to be officially adopted at next month's board meeting.

The budget shows revenues of $1,102,303.37 for the general fund, $54,953.38 for the capital reserve building fund and $11,819.18 from the fire hydrant millage.

Total real property taxes will account for 63% of the total revenue, while Local Tax Enabling Act taxes, including $370,000 in earned income tax revenue and $14,804 in total per capita tax revenue, will account for the remainder.

"The good news is there will be no tax increases," chairman Rod Green said. "The bad new is that it's tough. The whole township has done a good job of not going over last year's budget."

Without individual departments seeing the need for significant expenditure changes from last numbers, the budget was balanced without the need for harsh tax hikes or spending cuts.

Before the board's regular meeting began, a public hearing was held to talk about Resolution No. 2010-19, the re-approval of agricultural security areas together with modifications. Agricultural security areas are dedicated farm lands protected from ordinances that would otherwise restrict the land use. The resolution was adopted by the board during the meeting.

In other township business, the board received a letter from Jacqueline Parker, Deputy Secretary for Community Affairs and Development at the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, informing the supervisors that the $37,000 grant they had applied for to pay for the Phifer Ice Dam Park Recreation Improvements project was preliminarily recommended for funding.

The grant approval is subject to legal and programatic review and a contractor responsibility check.

The project plans to remove decaying trees, install a walkway and 2 pavilions, and make improvements to the little league baseball field.

Supervisors authorized the secretary to advertise the board's intent to appoint independent auditors to audit all of the township's 2010 accounts, and approved a motion to serve a six month notice to Powell, Rogers & Speaks collection agency to terminate their contract with the township. The board has been dissatisfied with the agencies inability to collect a significant amount of unpaid garbage bills.

The township will reinvest $100,000 in a capital reserve building fund certificate of deposit at Jim Thorpe National Bank at the highest interest rate available on the December 4, 2010 maturity date.

The Franklin Township municipal office will be closed Thursday and Friday, November 25 & 26, 2010 for the Thanksgiving Holiday, but there will be no changes in garbage collection pick-up this week.

A public hearing is to take place during the December 21, 2010 board of supervisors meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the municipal building, to discuss the Community Development Block Grant Fiscal Year 2011 allocation and project.

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