The Union Township Board of Supervisors voted 2-0 on Nov. 19 to advertise its 2013 budget with a 1.5 millage rate increase, raising the tax rate from 2.15 to 3.65 mills.
Supervisor John Salaneck III was absent from the meeting.
“Every time a tax increase came up I battled you and I said no,” said Supervisor Nelson L. Ott, Jr., to Chairman Donald E. Basile.
“I thought I was doing the right thing all along but it might have been better to raise taxes every year by a half mill,” said Ott, adding that the township’s road construction equipment is wearing down, culvert pipes in the township are “shot,” and other costs continue to increase.
“This is the only year I feel the tax is justified and I think we would be doing a disservice to the community to not vote for it.”
The township will borrow $1 million to pave roads, for culvert repairs on five roads, to fund heating, ventilation and air conditioner repairs at the township building, 1445 E. Main Street, Douglassville, and to pay its debt service.
Basile and Ott approved changes to the township’s Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SALDO).
Solicitor Frederick K. Hatt said the township, instead of developers, will now record land development plans with the county.
Land development plans will now include a separate block to list conditions a developer must meet before the plan is considered complete and final; a plan’s timeline would then begin when the final condition is satisfied.
Hatt said a new amendment passed by the state legislature requires that municipalities now notify their school districts upon the submission of new preliminary plans and how many homes would be built.
Basile said the township is studying East Vincent Township’s Amusement Tax for consideration in Union Township.
“Supervisors Salaneck and Ott said they would not hear from EMI’s (Ethan Michael, Inc.) representatives of what the Liberty Bell Motorsports Park and Campground would do for the township’s revenue,” said Basile.
“The amusement tax is an attempt by the township to find a way to cover extraordinary costs the township may incur at these events,” said Basile.
The township is reviewing EMI’s land development plans for the Liberty Bell Motorsports Park and Campground, Route 724.
Township Manager Carol Lewis will continue to post road closures and other township news on the township’s website and also disseminate through e-mail.
She said 187 of the township’s 1,300 households are registered to receive e-mail messages.