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Taxes, Taxes, Taxes at Catharine

Catharine Township supervisors were on one mission during last Thursday evening’s meeting: to work on the budget. The one thing on their minds? Taxes.

Chairman Heather Flaig presented a preliminary budget with Ken Brenneman and Ralph Rispoli. They pointed out the questionable spots on the budget for 2024. Auditor Daryl Cole suggested adding to the Capital Reserve fund that has been significantly depleted the last few years.

The first order of business was the street lights. Brenneman said that in 2024, the township would face a $2,200 deficit because of increased prices.

“We aren’t compensating for the increase,” Flaig said.

After several ideas, the Light Tax would be added to the regular millage, which would then affect all residents based on their assessed value of property rather than just a flat light tax, which had been implemented previously.

Following much discussion, Ken Brenneman made a motion to increase the millage from .941 to 1.41 for the upcoming year. Flaig seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously.

Flaig stated that the snow removal income from PennDOT was an increase from last year, which is currently at $13,262 for the township.

More discussion was held on River Front Drive with the township wanting to take over the frontage. Surveys of the residents were conducted last month, and not all 100 percent in favor was received.

“It’s 100 percent or nothing,” Solicitor Nathan Karn said.

Karn also said that it would be in the interest of the township to get a written permission of deeding the property needed for the frontage from each homeowner rather than just oral permission. The township agreed that more research needed to be completed on the project before next steps forward.

The township is in the market for a new truck. Flaig said she was meeting with US Municipal for a bid and a truck with the features wanted. Following that meeting, she is going to work with Blair Planning to work toward a grant with 100-percent funding. The township’s current truck would cost around $10-20,000 to improve. The mechanic offered to purchase the truck at $5,000, which was passed by the township.

There was only one bid for the equipment rental, which was from Roadmaster Michael Fay. Ken Brenneman made the motion to accept bid from Fay. The motion passed; Flaig abstained.

In his roadmaster’s report, Fay talked about getting the other trucks of the township inspected, which incurred a $1,000 cost with work that needed to be completed. Fay also talked about next year’s hopeful “big project,” which would be Cross Valley Road; with an estimated 1.58 mile stretch, Fay said that using this year’s cost estimates from Grannas, improvements to the road would be at least $121,000.

 

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