Saturday, July 26, 2014

Butler Twp. budget avoids tax hike

February 19. 2013 10:02PM
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BUTLER TWP. – Supervisors on Thursday night said the township's 2013 proposed budget is scheduled for adoption at a special meeting on Dec. 20.

Township Manager Marianne Petrilla said the general fund spending plan of $3.9 million contains no tax increases.

Also, an ordinance for a $1.5 million general obligation bond was approved.

In another matter, despite an appeal by the manager of the Beech Mountain Estates Development, supervisors were unable to resolve issues involving a pre-Thanksgiving car crash that caused an estimated $25,000 in property damage.

Theron Hausman said the incident occurred at the intersection of Edgerock and Four Seasons Drive on Nov. 21, when an unnamed juvenile driver crashed his car through a stop sign, knocked down a fence on the Wilbur Elliot property and caused extensive damage to the family's porch. Two cars owned Elliot also were damaged.

Hausman asked about progress of the prosecution, but was told by police officer Gene Rafalli that the police did not have jurisdiction with regard to traffic laws in a private development such as Beech Mountain Estates.

Supervisor Charles Altmiller, a former township police chief, confirmed Rafalli's comments, although Rafalli said he would consult with the current chief, David Pavalko, about the matter. He encouraged Hausman to do the same.

Hausman said the driver who caused all the damage has been allowed to just walk away.

It was suggested the incident could be referred to the Luzerne County District Attorney, but Hausman was offered no guarantees that there would be a prosecution.

His complaint came at the end of the meeting, after the supervisors acted to approve a series of land improvement plans at the Sand Springs Development, including a proposal for an addition to the clubhouse at the golf club.

In other matters:

• A bid of $38,826 for insurance coverage was awarded to the Eastern Insurance Group.

• The supervisors accepted the bid of $8,300 from Precision Design to create a township website.

• The supervisors accepted Penn Hazle's bid for 11 pieces of equipment, including $2,588 for a 1991 dump truck. But Penn Hazle's $1,500 bid for a 1995 Mack aerial scope truck was rejected.

• The supervisors heard a report by officials of Valley Fire & Ambulance Co. Inc. that the company's financial position has improved substantially, including bringing down debt. They added that fiscal officers are currently working on a budget that will be presented in January.

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