Following the resignation of the Allen Township treasurer on May 10, the Allen Township Board of Supervisors and Township Manager Ilene Eckhart are looking for ways to streamline billing and improve efficiency for both township residents and office staff. 

Eckhart, who has been appointed township treasurer in the interim alongside Amber Averbeck as assistant treasurer, brought two proposals to supervisors. The first is a trash and sewer invoicing platform from Diversified Technology, a public sector software development firm. The invoicing platform would allow residents to pay their trash or sewer bills online using a credit card or ACH payment. 

The current paper process, says Eckhart, is very manual and time-consuming. While residents would still be allowed to pay bills with cash or check, this new system would give them another option and eliminate some manual time for staff. 

However, one concern for supervisors was the credit card processing fee. Supervisor Gary Behler said this fee would perhaps prevent residents from opting for online payments, defeating the purpose. Meanwhile, Supervisor Paul Link said he would be against the township covering any credit card fees, as that is a cost of convenience for those who choose to pay with a credit card. 

While supervisors approved the purchase of the technology, they plan to discuss the issue of fees at a future meeting when a full board is present. 

Eckhart also requested that supervisors approve a motion allowing Keystone Collections to handle all local service tax collection. Eckhart said the township receives many $1 checks, citing the thousands of trucks and third-party businesses that move through the township. Sometimes the township receives checks that should go to Northampton Borough. This results in staff spending time to send money back. 

Keystone, which already collects earned income tax for the county, would help reconcile this and take the manual labor off the township staff. Supervisors approved this request. 

In other news, supervisors approved the preliminary plan for Northampton Business Center Lot 3 along Howertown Road. Seven conditions were placed upon the development, the most important being a barrier requirement preventing tractor-trailers from entering or exiting the property using Howertown Road. A 13-foot-high physical barrier will restrict tractor-trailers while still allowing emergency vehicles. In addition, advance signage will be posted on Route 329, directing trucks to the proper entrance. 

Finally, supervisors tabled the motion to approve the volunteer firefighter tax credit incentive program due to a lack of quorum. The ordinance will be readvertised for adoption at the next public meeting. 

The next Allen Township Board of Supervisors meeting will be on Tuesday, May 28 at 6 p.m. 


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