Friday, July 11, 2014

Plains unveils 2013 no-tax-hike budget

February 19. 2013 4:21PM
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PLAINS TWP. -- The township Board of Commissioners on Thursday night had its first reading of an $8.7 million 2013 budget that holds property taxes at 1.77 mills.

A mill is a $1 tax for every $1,000 in assessed property value.

The board will hold two more readings before formally adopting the spending plan at an as of yet undetermined meeting date in December.

In another matter, resident Steve Johnson of the Keystone section once again pressed commissioners to erect a stop sign on the corner of Ridgeway Road and Napoli Street.

Johnson and other residents from that neighborhood have consistently expressed their anger over the nature of the operations of the Popple and Wilkes-Barre Materials rock quarries. The most often mentioned concern is that of truck traffic.

Despite traffic studies, speed traps and other police actions, complaints continue to be brought to board meetings.

At the August meeting, Johnson pleaded with the board to erect a three-way stop sign at the corner of Ridgeway and Napoli. At the time, he was informed that, because Ridgeway Road is a state road, the township could not put up a sign without the proper authorization.

On Thursday, Johnson said he met with state officials who told him the placement of a stop sign at the location would be up to the municipality. He acknowledged township officials provided him with documentation regarding an Aug. 21 traffic study, and the state's denial of the township's request to erect the stop sign.

Despite being provided with this document, Johnson disputed that the traffic study ever took place on that day. He said he was home the entire time and did not notice any police presence. He also said he was disappointed that he has had to go back and forth between the state and the township.

Commissioner Brigid O'Connor, who has met with Johnson in the past to personally observe traffic conditions at his residence, said the board would very much like to erect the sign, but she lamented the state's refusal.

She also stated intentions to ask the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to reconsider its decision, and to possibly have a PennDOT representative come to survey the scene in person.

In other matters, Commissioner Steve Sax advised residents to be careful with regard to their personal property. For the second straight meeting he reported increased incidents of vehicle break-ins.

He said all residents should lock their car doors when they are parked.

What's Next

The next regular meeting of the board is set for Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

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