A proposed budget for next year in Butler Township maintains the property tax rate at 0.4262 mills, adds a police officer, hopes for a state grant and forecasts a withdrawal of nearly a half-million dollars from the fund balance.
In the proposal available to read at the township’s website or office, expenses of $3,861,872 exceed revenues of $3,379,073.
Evening the gap will require a withdrawal of $482,799, but township Manager Maryanne Petrilla said the fund balance, which contains more than $1 million, probably won’t decline as much as the budget projects.
Last year, for example, the budget proposed for 2016 also listed a gap between revenues and expenditures of $488,922, but it wasn’t necessary to reduce the balance by that much as the year progressed.
“With the growth (in township buildings and population that) we are lucky enough to experience we see more in earned income, building permits and taxes. That’s difficult to guesstimate,” Petrilla said in an email.
In 2017, Butler Township plans to start constructing a township building and police station in the CAN DO Corporate Center with a $3 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that isn’t part of the budget.
The police department budget for 2017 increases by $261,121.
Combined salaries for the chief, sergeants, corporals, secretary and patrol officers rise by $73,392, a figure that includes pay for an additional officer.
Medical, dental and vision insurance in the police department increased $116,816, a jump of 58 percent, representing rate changes and an increase in employees.
Funding for police vehicles is set at $50,000, up from $35,000 this year.
The budget lists a state grant of $330,000 that Butler Township received for continuing to develop Freedom Park and another grant of $200,000 that the township hopes to receive.
This year, the township added ballfields, parking and an entrance off Mill Mountain Road for the park.
Butler Township will pay $160,000 to reduce the principal balance of its bond issue, or about $15,000 more than this year. Interest payments of $66,725, however, stay about the same as last year.
The Highway Department’s budget rises $57,027 to $881,504. Of that $25,000 is allocated for capital purchases and $227,000 for materials.
The Highway Department wants to build a garage with assistance from the Wastewater Department, which allocates $225,000 for building and plant repairs and $25,000 for repair supplies.
Debt payments for the wastewater treatment plant will hit $608,552, including interest.
The wastewater budget predicts a surplus of $431,449, with revenues of $2,203,100 and expenses of $1,771,651.
Operating the township’s recycling center will cost $17,750, or $2,000 more than this year.
In the general budget, engineering costs remain at $150,000, of which the township expects to be reimbursed $20,000.
Salaries are set at $50,561 for the manager, $21,500 for the solicitor and $6,000 for the zoning solicitor.
Paying for the supervisors’ medical and dental insurance will cost $28,050, whereas the salaries for the three supervisors total $7,500. The supervisor who serves as secretary-treasurer receives an additional $1,500.
Butler Township budgeted $88,500 for snow removal, including $7,000 for salaries and $8,000 for overtime. Materials to spread on wintery roads will cost $72,000 and come from a separate budget funded by a state tax on liquid fuels.
The liquid fuels budget totals $367,698 and also contains money that the state paid Butler Township for taking over some roads. Expenses from the liquid fuels budget include $180,000 for road materials, $45,000 for tools and machinery, $21,200 for diesel fuel and $8,500 for signals and signs.
Butler Township supervisors are scheduled to hold a work session Dec. 8 when they could discuss the budget and convene a regular meeting to vote on the budget Dec. 13.