timesleader.com

Rice expects surplus despite tax problem

November 14, 2012

RICE TWP. – Despite the tax distribution delay brought on by the Centax collection agency this year, Rice Township expects to end the year with a surplus.


With next year's budget around $850,000, Supervisor George Venesky said the township will meet it without raising taxes.


Budgeting and spending and avoiding tax increases is not rocket science, Venesky said at Tuesday's supervisors meeting.


He added that they have only to work within the means provided.


Rich Evans, a resident, asked if Heslop Road's repaving will be given priority in the 2013 budget, since the township right-of-way is in deplorable condition.


When we thought we were going to do Heslop Road this year, it was not in the budget last year, Evans said.


He said a budgeted item is more likely to be addressed.


Secretary Treasurer Don Armstrong said they anticipate an $84,000 deposit to their liquid fuels account which may be used for paving projects.


At the beginning of the year, resurfacing plans were held up because Pennsylvania Game Commission representatives talked about logging on game lands easiest accessed through Heslop Road.


Chairman Miller Stella, who is also the township's roadmaster, has repeatedly said he will not resurface the road if logging trucks were to use it as their main access route. At this point, he has not heard of definitive plans from the commission.


In other business, Supervisor Marcia Thomas questioned the township's newly-upgraded phone service, saying that during Superstorm Sandy when the municipal building's power went out, she received many calls from affected residents who could not get through to the borough building.


Many claimed that though power was out, phones were online at their homes and still they could not reach the borough building.


Thomas suggested looking into a backup system should their phones fail in a storm.


The board approved installing a propane generator for the building.


Cost for the generator is not to exceed $12,000, a price Stella said was appropriate for the unit's size and installation.