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Department Budgets, Insurance Costs to be Tightened in Upper Nazareth

Supervisors look to cut department budgets, save on insurance costs.

The Upper Nazareth Township Board of Supervisors is always looking for ways to save, especially during the current economic times, according to chairman Mike Rinker.

And that is why saving dollars and keeping costs under control were the main topics of discussion during Wednesday night's meeting.

With a motion and unanimous approval from the board, the head of each township department must submit a revised budget -- with at least 10 percent in cuts -- by June 8.

Additionally, supervisors plan to cut insurance costs when the township's umbrella insurance policy is renewed on June 1.  The policy covers township-owned equipment and vehicles, the police department and general liability.

The savings will come from reducing the number of township-owned vehicles on the policy and increasing deductibles, among other measures, according to supervisor Scott Sylvainus.

“We could save 15 to 20 percent,” Sylvainus said, adding that the township is in the process of lowering its insurance policy quote, which has already been reduced by about $2,000 -- down from about $51,000 to about $49,000. Sylvainus said he expects further reductions in the next two weeks.

Despite all of the subtractions, there will be one addition to the policy: coverage for township volunteers and volunteer groups not already covered by their own insurance. That revision, which township solicitor Gary Asteak called “a safety net,” will cost the township $300 per year.

In other business, the state of the roads in the Florey Farm subdivision were on the minds of several residents. After hearing concerns, supervisors agreed to send a letter to the developer, directing him to complete road improvements stipulated in the subdivision's land development plan. If the developer does not comply, the township will use escrow funds from the project and the township's Public Works department will repair the roads.

The Upper Nazareth supervisors meet at 7 p.m. the first and third Wednesday of each month at the .

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