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No tax increase for Upper Macungie residents in 2013

By Stephen Althouse, WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 01 2012 10:49:46 PM CDT
69 News
UPPER MACUNGIE, Pa. -

Upper Macungie Township residents can breathe a sigh of relief when it comes to taxes during 2013.

“There will be no increase in taxes,” according to township treasurer Barry Moyer.

The declaration was made during Thursday night’s board of supervisors’ meeting, where Moyer offered a rudimentary sketch of the 2013 budget, with few details vocalized and many figures still outstanding.

The overall budget is at roughly $13.7 million, a $2.7 million decrease from last year’s $16.5 million figure, he said, and explained the reason for the decrease in expenditures.

“There are no major projects or equipment purchases in store,” he noted. However during Thursday night's meeting supervisors did vote 3-0 to pursue RFPs to replace the roof of the community center and Moyer's figures did not include this potential expense.

Nevertheless the night was not without controversy, as a line item about allocating money for a command vehicle for emergency communication in partnership with South Whitehall Township garnered many questions from residents, some of them noticeably perturbed about spending money for a vehicle that would not be used with the exception of unexpected emergencies.

Chairman Edward Earley likened the potential allocation to having homeowners’ insurance.

In other business, supervisors voted 3-0 to award the refuse and recycling contract to Waste Management. Residents will see a 17 percent savings, or about $60 annually on the recycling side, although they will also experience a 5 to 7 percent hike on the sewer side. There will be no change in service, according to Supervisor Kathey Rader.

At the beginning of the meeting, Earley noted that the fury of Hurricane Sandy and brought out the best in the township’s emergency services. Many township residents still do not have power, according to officials. Rader said she had been in discussion prior to the meeting with PPL officials who indicated that 80 to 85 percent of twonship residents would have power restored by Friday night, with the remaining 15 to 20 percent receiving service no later than Sunday night.