During their meeting on April 23, the Allen Township Board of Supervisors voted to move ahead with the Volunteer Firefighter Tax Credit Incentive Program, approving the draft ordinance for advertisement. 

The program has been a topic of discussion over the past several months. It offers a 100% real estate tax credit to all volunteer firefighters who reside in the township. (This does not include school tax.) Volunteer firefighters who do not own property may receive an earned income tax credit of up to $350. 

Non-residents who volunteer their time to the Allen Township Volunteer Fire Department will also benefit. Those who own property will receive a credit based on the Allen Township millage multiplied by the assessed value of their property. Non-property owners will receive an income tax credit based on their tax rate in their own municipality. 

Supervisors hope these new incentives will reward volunteers for their time, retain volunteers and encourage new volunteers. 

Supervisor Gary Behler asked whether volunteers could pick between a real estate tax or an income tax credit. However, per the ordinance, the program uses real estate tax as the default. 

Solicitor Lincoln Treadwell said allowing volunteers to choose is possible, but could complicate the program, as individuals may switch back and forth every year. The current program, he added, “covers everyone.”

Supervisors agreed to approve the draft ordinance as is. After a year, they will collect feedback and see if adjustments are necessary. 

In other news, supervisors also approved the release of two decades-old agreements with Krapf Park LLC. This property, along Savage Road, has been the subject of several zoning appeals and court battles through the years. In 2023, supervisors were required “by right” to approve a subdivision plan of six lots, half of which will be zoned industrial. 

Attorney Dennis McCarthy, on behalf of the developer, requested the release of two agreements, one from 1988 and another from 2014. These agreements have been deemed obsolete and all requirements have been met, except the requirement for a geotechnical analysis. This study is required because a former quarry on the property has been filled and graded. A geotechnical analysis will determine whether there are any sinkholes and also ensure the density of the fill is stable enough for new construction. McCarthy said this study will be conducted as part of the land development phase. 

Treadwell told supervisors the development project would still be allowed to move forward whether they release the old agreements or not. 

“This project happens regardless,” he said. “Rejecting this won’t stop it.”

Supervisors agreed, with Supervisor Paul Link stating, “I don’t think anything is served by not releasing it.”

Finally, Township Manager Ilene Eckhart proposed several new park improvements, including shading structures at Howertown Park along the dugouts, bleachers and playground equipment. These structures are waterproof and would allow families to enjoy the park while staying out of the direct sun. A motion to approve these purchases will be added to the next Board of Supervisors agenda. 

The next Board of Supervisors meeting will be Tuesday, May 14 at 6 p.m. 


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