Harford Township proposes budget for 2011

BY PAT FARNELLI

Harford Township Supervisors reviewed the proposed 2011 budget Tuesday during their November meeting. No tax increase is expected for the coming year even though the projected township revenue falls short of the expected 2011 budgeted expenditures, with cash-on-hand carried over to make up the difference.

The township has anticipates $369,811 in revenue for 2011 and expenditures totaling just over $400,000.

Supervisors also expressed concern over the state of the township equipment now that harsh weather is on the horizon.

The Richardson Road project will have to wait until spring, but the necessary GP7 permit has been received, as applied for by Fox Engineering, supervisors said. The supervisors applied for an extension until June 30, 2011 to complete the work on Richardson Road, which was also approved.

The project will be funded by a PA Dirt and Gravel Road Program project grant, and supervisors are asking for half of the moneys up front so that they can start purchasing materials.

The Tingley Lake/Stearns Road project is now on hold, as seven Tingley Lake landowners have chosen to file a lawsuit against the township. “The situation is now in the hands of our solicitor, and the task now is to determine who exactly is responsible for the outflow of the lake, Supervisor Sue Furney said.

Supervisor          said that there is a possibility that the floodwater problem could be the responsibility of one of the landowners.

The supervisors have applied for grant money to fund the project. There is a failing culvert pipe under Stearns Road, which crosses Leslie Creek. The pipe has been blamed for flood damage to the plaintiffs’ homes during the 2006 flood.

The property owners group claims Stearns road crossing is sinking and further cutting off the outflow culvert opening from the lake.

The civil lawsuit, filed Sept. 24 in the Susquehanna County Court of Common Pleas, is in the hands of the township solicitor, attorney Andrew Hailstone of Scranton.

If the township is deemed responsible and ordered to correct the problem, one possible solution might be a bottomless culvert, which would not need barriers to prevent fish from entering, would be less likely to clog with debris, and would cost much less, supervisors said.

The supervisors are still awaiting delivery for their road sign order. Not all of the signs were received, and some of those which were received were not acceptable.

Some of the signs were more than 54” long, and would require more than one pole to install. The signs were ordered last year so that the township would be in compliance with the new 911 road name changes, but the manufacturer has delayed delivery.

The supervisors have decided not to seek bids for a new sewer control panel at this time. Klepadlo and Associates have contacted the original manufacturer of the control unit to see if repairs can be done for less expense than a completely new system.

As they reviewed township bills and the proposed budget, the supervisors agreed that the number one priority in the township shop is a new spreader box, and that the trucks are on borrowed time and will soon need replacements.

The Ford 350 truck was repaired and returned to the township earlier that day, but the supporting frame and undercoat should be checked before putting the box back onto the truck. A heavier duty truck with four wheel drive is needed, they said.

Also, the 550 standard diesel truck needs to be overhauled and rigged for township use. The supervisors said the heavy truck was not worth trading in, and that two, two-wheel drive vehicles need to be upgraded to four-wheel drive vehicles.

Furney checked township records and said that a spreader box purchased in 2007 from Mount Laurel cost $3500.

The township’s radio system needs to be upgraded as well. The present radio in the township building cannot talk to a snow plow or truck once it goes over the nearest hill, they said.

Terry Van Gorden said that the trucks are being fitted with spreaders for the winter season. They have been filling in potholes and smoothing the hills, but the road materials are being pulled up by the heavier traffic.

A sign-on bonus was received from Cabot Oil and Gas, and $81,650 was deposited in a CD special savings account. Another Cabot check was deposited in a CD savings account designated for the borough sewer, in the amount of $10,465.

The supervisors said they will be seeking grant money for upgrading lighting for the borough shop.

Several changes were suggested to the proposed budget, including doubling the maintenance and supplies fund from $2,500 to $5,000.

The major equipment budget is for $13,000. The 2009 grader loan will be paid off in one more year, Furney said. The 2011 budget will be advertised and will be voted on at the Dec. 14 meeting.

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