Township preliminary budget OK'd

By Shawn Hardy news@echo-pilot.com

Antrim Township supervisors unanimously approved a preliminary budget last Tuesday night that continues the policy of no property tax. The final budget is scheduled for approval during a meeting at 11 a.m. Dec. 27.

The $4,208,125 general fund budget is about $1 million higher than the township's 2019 spending plan and projected expenditures outweigh revenues by more than $1.1 million. The difference will be made up with township reserves.

There is an uptick in road work, park projects and technology but two other major budget expenditures may or may not occur.

The 2020 budget has about $400,000 set aside MS4 (municipal separate storm sewer system) work. Supervisors, as well Greencastle Borough Council members, voted last month to suspend work on MS4 pending common sense answers from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on permit measures to clean up the Chesapeake Bay.

There will be some expenses associated with MS4, including staffing and GIS mapping, Brad Graham, township administrator explained. In addition, it is not know how long the MS4 suspension will last. On the revenue side, $400,000 was removed for the MS4 fee that was supposed to go into effect in 2020, but has also been suspended.

Graham said $350,000 is earmarked for a possible study of Exit 3 of Interstate 81, which could be balanced if the township were to receive grant funding.

"I believe the study will come at some point ... I don't know if will be next year, but the money is there," Graham said.

Major sources of revenue include earned income and real estate transfer taxes, as well as landfill tipping fees.