During their virtual public workshop meeting on Wednesday, May 13, the East Allen Township Board of Supervisors voted to extend the real estate tax deadline until December 31.
Residents will now have until the end of the year to pay their base tax in full without any late fee or penalty. The original deadline had been April 30, but the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the township to push it back to help alleviate any financial burden for residents.
Meanwhile, the discount rate has been extended until August 31. Residents who may have paid their base amount will be receiving a letter with new instructions.
The township has already collected about 84 percent of its real estate tax.
“This is not anything out of the ordinary,” said township manager Brent Green.
In other news, Green asked supervisors for permission to form an open space committee that would explore possible farmland preservation methods. The committee would be composed of residents, farmers, supervisors, and business owners.
“[This is] something that is overdue,” said Green. “The only way you are really going to battle [warehouse development] is to have a program to protect these areas.”
Giving supervisors the power to preserve farmland can only be achieved by a referendum vote. Green says a committee will help him gauge where the public’s opinion stands.
“We have to get it right,” he said.
He cited a method similar to Moore Township. The township purchases farmland that is for sale and leases it out to farmers for continued maintenance.
Committee meetings will be open to the public.
“East Allen is a ripe community [for this program] with the problems that we are facing and the challenges that we have,” added Green.
Green also asked supervisors for permission to look into community cleanup opportunities. Both township and state roads have had issues with littering from drivers and even nearby businesses.
“PennDOT’s [cleanup] has been limited,” said Green. “There is not a lot of involvement.”
He added that public works has been spending a lot of time cleaning up litter from “careless” drivers who throw garbage out their windows.
“There are certain hotspots in the township that you definitely see those issues,” he said.
Guidelines from Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, as well as from neighboring townships, would help with the program’s implementation. Green will also contact businesses along the “hotspots” to see if they would be willing to enter into an agreement with the township for cleanups.
Finally, Green said that curative amendment hearings with Rockefeller continue to be on hold.
“We are trying to figure out when we can do it safely,” he said. “No one wants to do it through virtual meetings.”
The township is looking at resuming the hearings in late summer.