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No tax increase anticipated for 2013 in Franklin Township

Published November 23. 2012 05:02PM

Franklin Township adopted the tentative budget for 2013 with no tax increase. The tax rate for general purposes will remain at 6.3 mills or 63 cents on each $100 of assessed valuation. There will also not be any increase in garbage fees.

A home valued at $80,000 will continue to pay $504 in real estate taxes to the township.

Taxpayers did not see a tax increase since 2010 budget. Supervisors had said at the budget meeting last year that they may have to raise taxes and garbage fees in 2013, but supervisors were able to hold off on an increase for 2013 despite rising costs.

Taxes were increased by 1 and 1/2 mills for the 2010 budget. Supervisors had said that the economic recession experienced in 2009 had a significant negative impact on the 2010 budget. The township received $27,000 less in revenues than anticipated in 2009.

In 2013, the township anticipates $4,119,661 in revenues, with $1,178,470 anticipated from taxes. Other income will come from licenses and permits, $$1,070; fines, $40,000; interest, $3,633; intergovernmental revenue, $236,059; charges for services, $910,890; other financing sources, $76,000; and $1,673,339 in assets.

Expenditures include, general government, $238,188; police, $689,278; health and welfare, $534; sanitation, $694,293; roads, $583,843; recreation, $32,842; conservation and development, $250; debt services, $140,891; miscellaneous expenses, $54,950; other financing uses, $55,000; and assets, $1,584,592.

In other business, the township secretary, Sandra Gaumer, announced there were no changes in garbage due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

A resident of the township, Leon Kamowski of Gerald Drive, questioned supervisors why three homes were allowed to assess a private road, which is not being maintained.

Rod Green, chairman, said that the third resident is not supposed to be accessing Gerald Drive.

Kamowski said that when the winter weather comes, who is supposed to be maintaining the road.

Green said the township does not maintain private roads. Green suggested that the people who assess the road bring the road up to township specifications and the township will then take it over for maintenance from then on.

Kamowski noted that he will not pay the costs which should be born by the developer.

"You approved this road and you should have some way to police this issue," said Kamowski.

Green said that the township does not get involved in private roads.

Jared Hoffman, a resident of Franklin Township, and owner of All Points Towing of Albrightsville questioned supervisors whether there were any other tickets written by police because of the new ordinance governing large vehicles using certain streets within the township.

Hoffman said that he was the only person cited and that it was not fair to write an ordinance that singled him out.

Green noted that police were patrolling the area and he was unaware if other tickets were written.

Hoffman then questioned why there are no police reports issued and why no police reports are published so that residents are aware of what is going on in the township.

Hoffman said, "You are in charge, if you want a police report, you should be able to get one."

Green said police reports are available by contacting police.

Supervisors also authorized Gaumer to advertise the board's intent to appoint independent auditors to audit the township's 2012 accounts.

The board also approved reinvesting $100,000 of the building fund CD in Jim Thorpe National Bank.

The board also adopted a resolution that governs how professional services are chosen for pension funds to comply with Act 44 and the Auditor General's recommendation.

The board also approved a raise for Kenneth Ahner for 50 cents an hour retroactive to Oct. 28, 2012.

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