No real estate tax increase in Peters Twp.

Published Dec 17, 2013 at 8:59 am (Updated Dec 17, 2013 at 8:59 am)

Peters Township Council members passed a more than $18.5 million budget Dec. 16 that does not include a real estate tax increase. Millage will remain at 13 mills. The $18.5 million expenditure is about equal to the 2012 budget.

The assessed township value is $336,925,629 in 2014 and each mill will bring in $331,871.

In addition to the 2014 budget, council also unanimously passed the 2014-18 Capital Improvement Program that establishes an estimate of the funds needed in the following five years for capital improvements.

In other action, Council:

• Authorized John Smith, township solicitor, to begin legal action against residents on the private portion of Mt. Blaine Drive if the gate is not opened by Dec. 20 and continuing discussions to have the gate removed have broken down. About eight residents on the private portion erected and closed a gate to restrict access to their portion of the street. The gate is not locked. A report to the township in November by the three public safety services – police, fire and ambulance – stated response time would be restricted by the gate. Six of the seven council members voted to authorize legal action with only Gary Stiegel Jr. voting against any action.

• Approved a 14-lot second phase of Whispering Pines, which will complete the plan. In unanimously approving the final phase, Council agreed to have only a pedestrian connection between Whispering Heights and Berry lanes. There will be no traffic connection at this time. Residents of adjacent Woodlands plan have opposed any vehicle connection. The school district prohibits buses from traveling through Whispering Pines as it is not a circular plan. A pedestrian connection could permit students from Whispering Pines to walk to bus stops in the Woodlands development.

• Agreed to investigate traffic problems, such as speeding by vehicles and a school bus, reported by residents on Thompsonville Road since the closure of Valley Brook Road for reconstruction of the ramp and realignment of the intersection of Old Washington Road.

• Awarded a bid for a fire rescue pumper to Toyne for $449,963. There were four bids. However, Michael Silvestri, township manager, said Toyne was the only bid received that met the specifications and/or contained a bid bond. The bid is about $9,000 over the amount budgeted. Rebidding the pumper, as recommended by Silvestri, could have resulted in a higher cost and a longer wait time.

• Approved the two-lot subdivision for the Richetti plan in the Garman Plan.

• Authorized Silvestri to gather information on speciality banners that would be hung on utility poles along East McMurray Road. No commercial sponsorships are permitted to be installed by First Energy Corp. Each banner costs about $155. Council could permit the banners in a patriotic motif from Memorial Day through July 4, and again from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.

• Thanked Councilman Michael McCaig for his five-month stint on council. McCaig, who previously served on council, was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the unexpected death in July of long-time council member Robert Atkison. Council will hold a reorganizational meeting at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6.

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