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Fairfield plans to hold line

| Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 9:58 p.m.

Fairfield Township supervisors will likely hold the line at 3.1 mills for real estate taxes next year.

There will be little change from 2012's budget, with the exception of an incoming $127,000 in Marcellus shale Act 13 funds, supervisors determined during a budget workshop last week.

One mill generates $22,500. The proposed spending plan for 2013 totals about $762,400.

The township will put most of the Act 13 money in a savings account to be used for later projects. A portion will be used to cover the township's share of seven purchased fire hydrants.

Fairfield and the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County split the cost of the hydrants, which came in at about $3,700 each. They will be installed along the Johnstown-to-Ligonier water line constructed by the authority.

Supervisor Paul Altimus said one reason the township is putting aside Act 13 money is because it has not been sent by the state Public Utilities Commission.

“We're not in the habit of spending money we don't have,” Altimus said.

So the 2013 plan “is really very similar to last year's budget,” said township secretary/treasurer Emma Brendlinger.

The budget earmarks about $388,500 for the general fund, used to cover the cost of administration, including supervisors' salaries, as well as snow and ice removal supplies.

It contains an estimated $39,500 to be carried over from this year.

A fund totaling about $224,000 in money from the state will be used mostly for road and bridge repair and construction.

Supervisor Vaughn Tantlinger said he didn't expect many changes to the budget between the workshop held Nov. 1 and the supervisors' meeting set for 7 p.m. today, when supervisors will vote on the preliminary budget.

The final budget will be approved at a meeting set for 7 p.m. Dec. 13.

Jewels Phraner is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-1218 or