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New Forks Twp. budget includes tax increase, staff reductions

By Lou Gombocz, Jr., WFMZ.com Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 08 2013 08:31:52 AM CST
FORKS TWP., Pa. -

The Forks Township Board of Supervisors reviewed and debated a preliminary draft of an $8 million dollar 2014 budget during its monthly work session Thursday night, which included a 3/4 mil tax increase, borough staff reductions, and a new police contract.

Supervisor Ed Moore specifically noted two of the three staff reductions will be due to police retirements; however, the board did not specify the source of the third reduction.

The supervisors all agreed any final decisions on the entire budget, which consists of a $30,000 surplus according to Supervisor Chairman Erik Chuss, will not be made for another two weeks.

Chuss commented that countless hours of preparation and discussion went into the 2014 Forks budget.

Finance Chairman Jim Farley urged the Board to budget to save $900,000 per year instead of the $360,000 it is currently setting aside for capital investments in the township's infrastructure.

Supervisor Dan Martyak justified the tax increase and a possible fourth staff cut because it would allow the township to "get ahead of the game," referring to saving for capital investment projects and equipment.

In other business, the board discussed and put on its next meeting agenda a 'Supervisors Discretionary Fund' separate from the general budget and used for smaller expenditures and capital improvements.

Farley emphasized how Forks needs a "rainy day" fund to which there would be quicker access to pay for public works projects and more minor capital improvements.

Finally, the board entertained an offer from David Furfaro, president of Fourmen Construction, Inc. of Peekskill, NY, for a free three-year, no-cost warranty including a local service tech to maintain the township amphitheater's canopy panels.

Furfaro offered the free warranty as a make-good following an earlier construction accident that caused damage to one of the canopy panels.

The supervisors agreed to take the matter under advisement.