Salisbury Press

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

SALISBURY TOWNSHIP BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

Friday, November 29, 2019 by Paul Willistein pwillistein@tnonline.com in Local News

2020 general fund budget has salary, insurance, pension increases

First of three parts

The Salisbury Township 2020 General Fund Budget is $8,400,947 and, combined with all budget categories, the total 2020 budget is $16,696,970.

The first part of an overview of the 2020 Salisbury Township Budget looks at the general fund.

Township commissioners were scheduled to meet 7 p.m. Nov. 26 for continued budget discussions. The meeting was rescheduled from Nov. 28 because of the Thanksgiving Day holiday.

Commissioners are expected to review and vote on the 2020 budget and tax ordinance 7 p.m. Dec. 12 in the township municipal building, 2900 S. Pike Ave.

Salisbury Township property owners whose properties utilize public water and sewer can expect an average $85 increase in taxes and services in 2020.

The estimated total increase is based on increases in taxes for the fire fund and general fund and pass-along charges in public water and sewer rates increases from Lehigh County Authority.

In 2020, for Salisbury properties served by LCA, water rates are to be raised by $6 quarterly, or $24 annually and sewer rates are to be raised by $3 quarterly, or $12 annually.

In addition, for Salisbury property owners, on average, taxes for the township fire fund are to be raised by $18, or 0.081 of a mill, and for the township general fund, by $31, or 0.14 of a mill. The increases are based on the $225,000 median assessment of properties in the township.

The estimated $85 increase in taxes and fees, on average, is derived from adding together the $24 water rate hike, the $12 sewer rate hike, the $18 fire fund hike and the $31 general fund hike.

Following is an overview of the Salisbury Township General Fund Budget per fund category, based on the 111-page 2020 draft budget, available for public review at the township municipal building and on the township website, under township information: https://www.salisburytownshippa.org/township-info/budget.

General Fund $8,400,947. The General Fund Budget includes general government support, public safety, community development, public works and recreation.

General Government

Legislative Department Budget

$19,255, an increase of $997 from 2019. The budget includes commissioners, events, supplies, dues, subscriptions and memberships.

Executive Department Budget

$519,610, an increase of $264,653 from 2019. The budget includes costs to support the administration. The increase includes the $90,506 assistant manager salary, $73,852 for health insurance and $66,857 for pension.

Finance Department Budget

$281,932, an increase of $97,097 from 2019. The budget includes salaries, benefits and supplies. The increase includes $25,541 for health insurance and $44,629 for pension.

Tax Collection Department Budget

$60,735, an increase of $1,344 from 2019. The budget supports collection of township taxes.

Legal Department Budget

$75,500, a decrease of $3,250 from 2019. The budget provides for legal matters carried out by the township solicitor.

Personnel Administration Department Budget

$31,330, a decrease of $31,223 from 2019. The budget includes retirement incentive payments, which have concluded, accounting for the majority of the decrease.

Information Technology Department Budget

$42,800, a decrease of $15,200 from 2019. The budget includes equipment and software, a reduction in which accounted for the decrease.

Engineering Department Budget

$72,000, a decrease of $33,000 from 2019. The budget includes engineering matters not specific to a fund or project.

Building and Plant Budget

$189,170, an increase of $45,176 from 2019. The budget includes custodian salary and costs to maintain and operate township buildings. The increase includes $25,541 for health insurance and $14,846 in pension.

Public Safety Budget

The category includes the police department, fire inspection department and emergency management department.

Police Department Budget - Salaries and Benefits

$3,045,336, an increase of $1,127,690 from 2019. The budget includes salaries, insurance, overtime and other costs, with a $470,476 increase in health insurance and a $413,617 increase in pension accounting for the majority of the increase.

Police Department Budget - Non-Salaries Expenditures

$288,150, an increase of $8,268 from 2019. The budget includes supplies, equipment, vehicle maintenance and training, with a $5,500 increase in training accounting for the majority of the increase.

Community Development

Planning and Zoning Department Budget

$222,190, an increase of $53,528 from 2019. The budget includes salaries, supplies, insurance and pension, with a $28,364 increase in pension accounting for approximately half of the increase.

Code Enforcement Department Budget

$112,407, a decrease of $101,153 from 2019. The budget includes insurances, services and salaries, with a $71,555 salary decrease attributed to duties being included in the assistant township manager’s salary, moved to the executive department.

Fire Inspection Budget

$195,746, an increase of $34,651 from 2019. The budget includes uniforms, insurances and salaries with a $14,200 part-time fire inspector salary representing the largest amount of the increase.

Environmental Advisory Council Department Budget

$1,600, an increase of $1,400, attributed to an increase in advertising, printing and subscriptions.

Public Works Department Budget – Salary and Benefits

$2,167,456, an increase of $1,099,389 from 2019. The budget includes salaries, insurance and pension, with a $157,337 increase in salaries, a $461,710 increase in health insurance and a $281,524 increase in pension. Three employees hired in 2019 filled vacancies.

Public Works Department Budget - Non-Salary

$68,670, an increase of $2,920. The budget includes vehicle fuel and supplies.

Traffic Control

$19,700, an increase of $7,700. The budget includes signs, signals and street markings.

Storm Sewers

$110,600, an increase of $33,150 from 2019. The budget includes the MS4 program.

Tools and Machinery

$55,000, decrease of $6,000

Streets and Bridges

$210,000, a decrease of $40,000

Recreation and Participant Department Budget

Recreation Administration

$35,700, a decrease of $500

Participant Recreation

$46,160, an increase of $5,473

Next week: The Press will report on the Capital Fund and other 2020 Salisbury Township budget categories.