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West Penn Twp. delays approval of tax collection agency

Published December 06. 2011 05:01PM

The West Penn Township board of supervisors delayed the approval of a Centax tax collection agency agreement at Monday evening's meeting in the municipal building.

If approved next month, Centax will receive 1.35 percent-worth in fees of the total amount of the local services tax it collects in the future. Berkhimer Tax Administrator currently handles this.

Over the summer, the board informed Berkhimer that the township was not renewing their contract. Berkhimer objected, Solicitor Gretchen Sterns said, and wishes to continue handling the services tax. Before entering into the Centax agreement, Sterns said, the board is waiting on conformation from Berkhimer that it is aware there will no longer be a contract with it and the township.

Also at the meeting, the board approved a change order for the Act 537 plan. The plan is to install sewage facilities in 306 residences located in Walker and West Penn Townships, but both townships continuously reject the plan because of its high cost, which would be a $104-a-month sewage bill for residents who have the systems installed. The two municipalities are working to come up with a plan that better suits their residents, but also still complies with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) mandated requirements for waste management.

In 2008, the original contract for the plan had a set amount, which the township engineer did not know offhand. It was approved by the previous board of supervisors at West Penn Township, Walker Township board of supervisors and DEP. The latest contract addendum is this change order for $6,800, which the board approved at yesterday's meeting.

"The goal," Township Engineer Ronald B. Madison, PE said, "is to have a follow-up meeting with DEP to outline the scope of additional work for the needs assessment for individual properties," which is a door-to-door survey to find out which homes require new waste systems and which do not.

Next, the board approved a proposal from Ragnar Events to allow relay racers to run through West Penn during its 200-mile route that starts in Lancaster and ends in the Poconos. Last year, the board allowed the Ragnar Relay to pass through, so it had no problem doing so again for the relay on October 5 and 6, 2012. The race benefits Back on My Feet, a nonprofit, Philadelphia-based organization that promotes the self-sufficiency of homeless populations.

Vice Chairman David Zeigler attended his last meeting tonight before retirement. For his services, the board will be presenting him a plaque on Tuesday Dec. 27.

Next West Penn Township board of supervisors meeting will be on Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. in the municipal building.

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