Salisbury Press

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

SALISBURY TOWNSHIP BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

Thursday, January 2, 2020 by Paul Willistein pwillistein@tnonline.com in Local News

Budget lists 2019 accomplishments; 2020 goals

The Salisbury Township 2020 budget includes a lot of numbers and statistics.

The budget also includes a look at accomplishments in 2019 and a look at goals for 2020.

Here’s a look back on 2019 and a look forward to 2020, according to township officials.

General government 2019 accomplishments

The township board of commissioners hired a consultant to review Salisbury Township Emergency Services. The board approved the consultant’s report and utilized several of the consultant’s recommendations in the report. Some of the recommendations are built into the 2020 budget or will be considered in future budgets.

The township promoted Sandy Nicolo to the assistant manager position effective April 1, 2019, to provide support to Salisbury Township Manager Cathy Bonaskiewich. Nicolo continues as township code enforcement officer.

After a cost-benefit analysis, the finance department outsourced the printing and mailing of quarterly utility bills to residents, saving the utility billing clerk an average of two days per quarter while reducing the overall cost to the township.

The finance department purchased and implemented a new budgeting module in the accounting software suite. The product has provided improved budgeting accuracies along with time savings for Salisbury Township Director of Finance Paul Ziegenfus.

After improvements to the technology infrastructure of the township over the past two years, the information technology department continued to build off strengthened security and support of the township information technology network.

With the help of Salisbury Township Consulting Engineer David J. Tettemer, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection approved the township’s pollution reduction plan. The plan is beginning to be implemented and must be completed in five years.

The Lindberg Park project was completed.

General government 2020 goals

Move offices and restructure responsibilities in the township administrative building to better serve the residents of the township. This will include moving community development to allow for face-to-face communication with residents needing information on permits, creating a new window for tax collection and moving utilities and other collections into the front office.

Implement community development module to allow for better tracking of activities by address.

Increase the number of online utility bill payers by at least 5 percent.

Continue to improve the collections and placing of liens on properties for nonpaying residents.

Implement a new document scanning system to ensure documents are saved electronically and easily accessible, while looking to reduce the need for paper files.

Police Department 2019 accomplishments

Two officers were trained to assist in police department response to critical infrastructure.

Cpl. Charles Whitehead completed training to become an accident reconstructionist. In addition, the township police department joined the Lehigh County Accident Reconstruction Team.

Acquired the Power DMS program to move closer toward police accreditation. In addition, the department also secured the services of the Dagel Law Group to help implement policies needed for accreditation.

Trained several officers to be firearms instructors to enhance firearms training and proficiencies.

Removed the remaining rear-wheel drive vehicle from the fleet. All vehicles are either all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, providing much better performance in inclement weather.

Placed an additional school resource officer in the west end of the school district. Officer Jason Laky covers Western Salisbury Elementary School and Salisbury Middle School. Officer Richard Nothstein covers Harry S Truman Elementary School and Salisbury High School. Since Laky ended his role as K-9 Officer, Officer Brian Zulic received his training and a new K-9.

Re-evaluated training programs and frequency of trainings to meet the best practices in law enforcement.

Joined a consortium with surrounding municipalities for the recruiting and hiring of police officers.

Police Department 2020 goals

Finalize remaining tasks to receive police department accreditation.

Implement wireless fingerprint technology to help identify the increasing number of people the patrol officers are coming across with no forms of identification.

Review the staffing structure of the police department and determine what changes and improvements are needed.

Continue to improve the police department training program.

Review recent traffic studies to ensure adequate traffic enforcement, improve enforcement tools, (stop bars, reduced speed limits, posting proper traffic signs, etc.) and determine any other actions needed to improve the safety of roads. Traffic studies will direct where targeted enforcement is needed.

Community Development 2019 Accomplishments

Implemented rental inspection ordinance.

Reorganized the planning, zoning and code enforcement department to better serve township residents.

Continued to update subdivision and land development ordinance.

Reviewed and updated grading ordinance.

The Environmental Advisory Council developed information on how to properly recycle. The information was presented at an environmental advisory council meeting and distributed with quarterly utility bills.

Community Development 2020 Goals

Continue to enforce the ordinance of the township to maintain and improve the quality of life for township residents.

Reorganize the planning-zoning-code enforcement filing system to reduce the amount of paper and to reduce the amount of space needed for storage.

Continue to reorganize the department until maximum efficiency is achieved.

Assist with public works department and engineer on pollution reduction plan tasks.

Public Works Department 2019 Accomplishments

The highway department hired three employees to fill staff vacancies.

There was $50,000 spent on storm sewers to implement the pollution reduction plan.

Public Works Department 2020 Goals

There will be $100,000 spent on storm sewers to implement the pollution reduction plan.

Commissioners voted 4-0 with one commissioner absent at the Dec. 12, 2019 meeting to approve the 2020 township budget and ordinance to set and reaffirm tax rates and approve budget appropriations.

The Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners next scheduled public meeting is its reorganization meeting, 5:15 p.m. Jan. 6, in the municipal building, 2900 S. Pike Ave.