During their November 9 meeting, the East Allen Township Board of Supervisors reviewed the proposed 2023 budget. Most notably, the $2.7 million budget proposes a 6.5 mil general fund tax and $30 fire hydrant fee, the same tax residents have seen since 2006.
Township Manager Brent Green said 2022 was an “exceptional year,” though the proposed budget for 2023 does include a shortage of roughly $9,000. During the meeting, Green and supervisors worked to balance this budget.
Total expenditures in 2023 are expected to be $2,755,636.40. The township’s largest expenses include public works costs and employee benefits. Projected costs for public works in 2023 is $982,150. Employee benefits, such as health insurance and pensions, are estimated to cost $450,000.
Other expenses the township expects to incur next year include $85,000 for legal services, $75,000 for engineering services, $82,000 for the township manager’s salary, $35,000 for stormwater management, $24,000 for governing body costs, $50,000 for insurance, and $32,500 for computers and technology.
Administration and finance is another major expense for the township, totaling $166,000, while buildings and facility costs are estimated to be $155,000. This includes capital construction, utilities, and building maintenance. Planning and zoning costs are expected to be $120,000. Fire costs are estimated to be $158,000.
A new expenditure the township is estimating for is the Open Space plan, approved this year. The $30,000 line item will help fund advertising for the program, as well as the salary for a part-time open space director.
The township has also estimated $25,000 for contracted police services. The influx in truck traffic violations have prompted the township to explore private police services or services from a regional department like Colonial Regional.
One expense not on the proposed budget is brand-new equipment. Due to supply chain issues, any vehicle equipment the township orders would not be available in 2023 “even if we ordered it today,” said Green.
The township expects to bring in $2,746,110 in revenue next year. Earned income tax is projected to bring in $750,000, while zoning permits are expected to bring in $250,000. Other revenue drivers include liquid fuels ($207,000), capital projects ($87,000), and hydrants ($32,000).
Fees and permits are not bringing in as much revenue as they had pre-COVID, explained Green. Burning permits are bringing in half of what they did in years’ past. Meanwhile, field rentals are down and the township is projecting a loss when it comes to summer camp, which has seen a decrease in registrations. This is the “new normal” Green said, adding that COVID has changed the needs of township residents. The township’s soccer program is estimated to bring in $30,000, while the summer camp may bring in $25,000.
This leaves a deficit of $9,526.40 in the budget. Green said there is wiggle room in some of the line items to help balance out this deficit, including in technology costs.
While presenting the budget, Green did add that the township’s assessment value has seen a “significant increase” due to new warehousing. One mil equals $192,000, compared to $166,000 in 2018.
The proposed budget as written was approved for advertisement. Supervisors will officially vote on the budget during their December 14 meeting.
In other news, supervisors approved the appointment of Hanover Engineering as the Parks, Recreation, & Open Space planning consultant. Jason Smith will serve as the lead consultant, having worked with other townships and municipalities on open space plans. Green said Smith has a skill for knowing what the community wants.
The open space plan is estimated to cost $60,000. However, a grant from Northampton County will cover $30,000 of these costs. A budget and time table is in the works.
The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 14 at 7 p.m.