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Burrell Township finalizes budget with no tax hike

| Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, 8:52 p.m.

A final 2013 spending plan for Burrell Township received approval from supervisors at the regular township meeting Wednesday night.

The balanced budget contains no tax increase, holding the line at 7.6 mills, which includes 2 mills for fire protection and 1.1 mill to support the township's hydrant fund.

Each mill of tax generates about $28,000 in revenue.

Total revenue for 2013 is projected at $720,772, with expenditures estimated at $623,763. A carryover of $160,000 from this year's budget will be used to help pay bills until the 2013 tax payments start rolling in.

If all goes as planned, almost $97,000 is projected to carry over into 2014.

The 2013 budget also includes $219,139 in the highway aid fund and $33,489 in the capital reserve, along with the following tax-supported funds: fire tax, $66,867; hydrant, $83,127; and street light, $35,685.

Areas served by street lights will see additional fees of anywhere from 30 cents to 70 cents per front foot of property within the vicinity of overhead lighting.

Businesses will have a separate charge based on lights at the routes 2 2119 interchange.

No specific projects have been pinpointed with funds from the 2013 budget, but supervisors chairman Tony Distefano said road needs would be analyzed after the winter season.

At its November meeting, the board approved a subdivision plan for an AutoZone store proposed at the former Agway site along Rt. 22.

The supervisors also tentatively approved a related developer's agreement at that meeting, conditioned on receiving a performance bond. That bond, in the amount of $28,500, since has been received and recorded by the township. On Wednesday, the supervisors affirmed approval of the developer's agreement pending final approval by the township engineer.

Two pieces of correspondence not requiring action were addressed by the supervisors.

The first was a letter from the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) concerning an exemption from sewage facilities planning for the Castle Point subdivision project off Heybert Drive.

The DEP confirmed, based in part on municipal and other sign-offs, that the project is exempt from any requirement to revise the official plan for new land development.

Because the project is located in the township, Distefano said the board had to confirm that the 36,400 gallons of sewage estimated to be generated daily at the project site could be handled without problem at the Blairsville Municipal Authority wastewater treatment facility.

The supervisors also received notification that the Blairsville Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses is applying for a general National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit for stormwater discharges associated with construction activities at its Newport Road site.

Gilbert Lanzarotti, who lives at the corner of Hunter and Lintner roads, reported that truck traffic has repeatedly knocked down a stop sign at that location and asked if the supervisors could do anything to address the problem.

“It's costing you guys money and it's costing the taxpayers money,” he said.

Supervisor John Shields noted that a couple of issues factor into the problem, including truck drivers ignoring signs on Rt. 22 warning away heavy vehicles, and the fact that the GPS satellites many truck drivers use continue to send them onto the road.

The road is posted with a 10-ton weight limit.

“Really, the only recourse we have is through the state police, through enforcement,” Distefano said.

Smith Plan resident Rich Saliga asked if PennDOT could place a “no truck turns” sign on Rt. 22 at Lintner Road.

Distefano said, in order to put up a sign on a state right-of-way, the township would have to apply for a permit from PennDOT.

“We're going to have to do something different than what we have been,” Distefano said.

He noted that Sheetz, which recently opened a store at the nearby Rt. 22/Corporate Campus Drive intersection, has promised some additional improvements to Lintner Road but ran out of construction season.

Distefano is concerned that an improved, resurfaced Lintner Road could actually exacerbate the problem.

“As that road looks better, it's going to make it worse,” he said. “It's going to look like a better road, the trucks will use it more, so at that time, we definitely need to consider some different signage.”

Burrell Township Library board member Helen Lichtenfels reported that the library will be closed Jan. 7-9, when inmates from the state correctional institute will be doing some painting in the building.

She said the library raised close to $100 by providing soup for the recent 5K Jingle Run.

Two positions are still open on the library board, and anyone interested is encouraged to send a letter of intent to the township office or stop by the office and fill out an application.

The township office will be closed Tuesday and Jan. 1 in observation of Christmas and New Year's Day, respectively.

The Burrell Township supervisors will hold a reorganization meeting at 6 p.m Jan. 7. The board has tentatively planned its next regular meeting for 7 p.m. Jan. 16, noting that a definitive schedule will be voted on at the reorganization meeting.

Gina DelFavero is a staff writer for Trib total Media. She can be reached at 724-459-6100 ext. 2915 or gdelfavero@tribweb.com.

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