For the third consecutive year, the Lower Nazareth Board of Supervisors had the opportunity to stare down a proposed $200,000 budget decrease.
According to township Manager Timm Tenges, the proposed $3,571,210 budget for 2013 is $188,290 less than the township's 2012 budget. That means, Tenges added, property taxes are expected to hold steady.
Despite a revenue stream that began to level off around 2010, Tenges reassured the board Wednesday that the proposed budget also takes the following into consideration:
- The Colonial Regional Police Department budget could climb from $3,163,478 in 2012 to $3,283,661 in 2013 -- an increase of about $120,000 to be shared by Lower Nazareth, Hanover Township (Northampton County) and Bath.
- The $1.45 million purchase of 623 Selvaggio Drive, a 35,000-square-foot property that is slated to be the new home for the township municipal building. Located on 2.8 acres, the property would include municipal offices and, possibly, a public works office, a community center and a park.
“We’ve learned to do more with less,” Tenges said, adding that in addition to waiting to buy new equipment, township employees have been proactive. For example, he said, employees bypass a contractor and haul their own trash -- saving the township $4,000 per year.
“That’s good,” Supervisor James Pennington said. “It’s good we can still keep [the budget] down.”
Tenges called the proposed budget "workable," and added that he hopes the extra wiggle room will allow the township to make improvements to 623 Selvaggio Drive, which will be renamed 623 Municipal Drive as of Nov. 1.
“If we are lucky enough to get into it, that is,” he noted.
The township has been in a tug of war with Selvaggio Enterprises Inc. since the township bought the property, which had been foreclosed on in July 2010.
According to a report in The Morning Call, a series of six lawsuits was filed in February to evict Stephen and Teresa Selvaggio, Selvaggio Enterprises Inc., Selvaggio Plumbing and Heating, Selvaggio Excavating Inc., Selvaggio and Sons Plumbing and Heating, and Newburg Plumbing Supply Inc.
A Northampton County judge in September ruled in favor of the township after a dispute over who has to take out the trash.
The Board of Supervisors will make a motion on Nov. 14 to advertise the proposed 2013 budget, and expects to approve the budget on Dec. 12.