By Bajeerah Lowe
The board of supervisors approved a 2004 budget with no tax increase, yet it appropriated money for a number of new services, including 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a week police coverage and the appointment of a township manager, slated for the fourth quarter.
"I think the township is in very good shape and we are planning for the future," said board Chairman Joe Garris.
Garris, along with board member Doug Doratt, said an increase in residents and the taxes collected have made way for the budgeting of new items.
Doratt said he is most excited by the prospect of a new municipal complex and expanded and improved village district. The proposal for the complex, details for which are still being worked out, is slated to include a new garage and municipal building with expanded office and meeting space. Pointing to the desk now situated in the board's pubic meeting of the existing building , Doratt said, "We are quickly running out of space."
Other budget highlights include additional consultant fees as the board changed from one meeting a month to two. "There was just too much to cover in one meeting," said township secretary Lisa Myers. The board will now meet on the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. and on the third Tuesday of the month at 9 a.m.
Money was set aside for the hiring of a township manager in the fourth quarter. Garris said the idea has been in the works for a while. "We have been watching how the work is picking up in the township," he said.
Extra money has also been set aside in this year's budget under engineering for the Greenbelt Drive bridge.
New equipment purchased includes a patrol vehicle, a truck for the road crew, a tractor and a mower. Western and Compass roads were identified in the budget as the two township roads slated for major improvements.
The entire township budget plan is available to the public at the township building.
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