South Whitehall commissioners unanimously passed a new $18.7 million budget Wednesday night that again holds the line on taxes.
The 2012 budget keeps property taxes at 4.9 mills. A homeowner whose property is assessed at $94,000 – the average assessment in the township -- will continue to pay $464 in taxes next year. Also, garbage fees also remain at $285.
"I think it's something that we can all be proud of," said township Manager Jon Hammer. The tax rate has stayed constant since 1991.
The township budget is divided up (and rounded) as follows:
- Public Works, $6.75 million (36 percent)
- Police, $4.9 million (26.5 percent)
- Administration, $4.1 million (22 percent)
- Volunteer fire companies, $972,253, (5.2 percent)
- Emergency management, $740,290 (4 percent)
- Debt, $686,845 (3.7 percent)
- Parks, $489,605 (2.6 percent)
Township officials anticipate using $229,452 of its capital reserve.
Among the items the budget allows for:
- A new pumper for the , at a projected cost of $535,000.
- Employees to receive 2 percent pay raises.
- Emergency management coordinator's stipend to increase to $2,000 from $500.
- $27,000 in total contributions to seven organizations, including and Lehigh Valley Coalition on Affordable Housing.
- $3,000 for landscaping at
- $44,000 for improvements to the . (Before the work proceeds, however, commissioners plan to vote on the matter, pending availability of open space funds.)
- $7,200 to rebrand and replace the "" signs.
- $10,000 for a grant writer in hopes of securing grants to help with police and emergency management initiatives.
- $390,000 for solictor fees.