East Penn focuses on roadwork in 2018 budget
East Penn Township has developed a tentative budget for 2018, which will include nearly $500,000 for roads, without a tax increase.
“We have a balanced budget,” said board Supervisor Deanna Cunfer.
“It gives us money for disasters in the sewer area, or bathrooms for the social hall,” she said.
Supervisors’ Chairman William Schwab said the township will receive $63,000 in grant money.
Resident Jeff Weiner voiced his concerns regarding the sewer rates during Monday’s meeting.
“We have a huge surplus, why wouldn’t some of it be passed on to the residents? We pay the highest sewer rate in the county,” he said.
“We’ve adopted a budget where the township no longer subsidizes the sewer. There were expenses coming from the general fund for the sewer fund. I said we should look at it again after the November budget meeting,” Schwab said.
Schwab and Supervisor Jon Strockoz told residents funds need to be saved for major repairs that could be needed in the upcoming year.
“It’s the pump near the Lehigh (river),” Schwab said.
“If that pump goes we’re getting a big bill,” Strockoz said.
“The other thing we want to look at is the late fees,” Cunfer said.
“There are 11 people with fees.”
The next issue on the agenda was proposed roadwork for the 2018 fiscal year.
In the budget $296,340 in materials have been set aside, with a total of $462,950 in repair work on 17 township roadways.
“We are being very aggressive with roadwork. We think the residents will be pleased,” said Schwab.
Included on the list for repair are the entire lengths of Sunridge, Pinewood, Sassafrass, Pinoak, Thomas Jefferson, High Point, Eidem and Lauchnor roads while Evergreen, Gilberts Hill, Germans, High Point, Church Hill and West Sunset roads are slated for repairs to partial stretches of road.
“We received a grant for Bake Oven Road dirt and gravel project,” Schwab said.
“It’ll be a three-year project. We need to get more material down and reshape it,” he said.
“We are getting the township ready for tar and chip next year. There will be few roads that won’t be touched in the next year. Keep your fingers crossed we can get it all done,” he said.
During the monthly meeting, Supervisor Steven Heckman reported to the board what the road crew completed during October, saying employees have been recertified in a flagger course and dirt and gravel program, worked on Hollow and Sunridge roads’ drainage, cold patched through out the township, conducted pipe and culvert maintenance along with vehicle maintenance including winterizing summer equipment and hauled away the remaining land fill at the township building.
Heckman gave results of the township’s “Cleanup and Freecycle” event held in October.
“We had a great turnout. We controlled our costs and were only at a loss of $300,” he said.
Heckman said 19 pallets of televisions and other electronics were taken away along with more than 30 passenger vehicle tires and a single axle truck full of scrap metal.
The township will schedule its next cleanup event for some time in May.
Schwab updated the board on the primitive camping project at River View Park.
“The fire rings are in,” he said.
“We will have work days at the park on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving if anyone wants to come down and volunteer.”
The chairman also said the local Eagle Scout Troop will beginning work on creating a dog park with the township only paying for materials.