Brady Township discusses budget items|
Tuesday, October 02, 2012
By Josh Woods Staff Writer
LUTHERSBURG - Brady Township Board of Supervisors last night at its regular meeting discussed items to be included in the township's 2013 budget.
Chairman Charlie Muth suggested the board budget for improvements at the township building; finishing the roof, fixing up the front of the building and adding a small air conditioner. Supervisor Bryan Hartzfeld said the township might get another year out of its truck and suggested the township budget for a small excavator.
Muth suggested budgeting for a 550 truck with a stainless steel bed just in case it is needed, and said purchasing an excavator would be economical. He said the township could put its Grade All up for bid and purchase, because an excavator would be easier to lay drain pipe and clean ditches.
Muth recently attended a workshop in Clearfield on a conservatorship program offered in Butler County that deals with blighted properties, he said. The program allows neighboring property owners within 500 feet of a blighted property seek a conservatorship if the blighted property meets three of 15 or more criteria, he said.
Under the auspices of the program, neighbors within 500 feet of a blighted structure can go to court and have a judge rule on whether or not it meets the criteria. Muth gave high grass, broken windows and a leaking roof as examples of the criteria.
"The judge can award a conservatorship and the liens would have to be forfeited, so you could take the property and clean it up," said Muth.
Muth said the downside of the program is that the taxes must be paid back on the properties if they are sold for redevelopment and there are legal fees involved. He said the City of DuBois is participating in the program, but ran into a snag with at least one property. The property has been sold and resold a number of times, and the city has been unable to track down a lease, he said.
Secretary Sheryl DeBoer said the state Department of Environmental Protection is currently seeking applications for Growing Greener grants - mostly for watershed protection.
A Local Technical Assistance Program is scheduled for Oct. 19 in Kylertown, DeBoer said.
The township received a letter from Keystone Collections in regard to the township's earned income tax collection history, DeBoer said.
Keystone wants the information in order to collect delinquent fees, she said.
Recently, an area drilling company sent its local services tax in a lump sum to Keystone and the township did not get its $5 portion, DeBoer said. She cautioned other businesses might be doing the same.
Hartzfeld said the township is finishing up road work for other townships. Work was completed in Union Township, and paving jobs are under way in Huston Township.
The board also approved:
- renewing its insurance policy with Swift Kennedy Insurance.
- reappointing Daryl Beatty and Gary Gilmore to Brady Township Planning Commission.
- a subdivision request on Haag Road from Paul and Barbara Gregory.
- advertising the township's park and recreation ordinance. The board will vote on adoption of the ordinance at its November meeting.
During public comment, a township resident asked where the money was coming from to fight the township's legal battle against the London family. The woman said she would like to submit a Right to Know request to learn the total amount the township has paid its attorney in legal fees.
Muth said the attorney fees are paid out of the general fund, and there is still money to carry out the township's budgeted needs. Due to its solicitor's health issues, Muth said, the case was turned over to a second attorney.
DeBoer said Solicitor Blaise Ferraraccio submits an hourly bill to the township that is not broken down into specific services. The township is currently paying both attorneys for their services, Muth said.
A Troutville Borough representative asked the board if it is still willing to maintain streets there.
The board agreed it did not have a problem with Troutville paying Brady Township to maintain the roads there, however, Muth suggested Troutville purchase its materials ahead of time out of its budget.
Muth said if someone can get with the township before it orders materials in the spring they could be ordered from the same quarry.
Brady Township's next meeting is Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the township building.