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Washington Twp. cuts spending by $303K

May 07, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

WAYNESBORO, Pa. -- Washington Township put more than $300,000 in spending on hold for the rest of 2009 on Wednesday to avoid a greater deficit in the coming months.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted Wednesday to amend its 2009 budget to reflect the $303,200 in expenditures changes the board made last month during a workshop.

Supervisor Stephen Kulla said the township looked at each expenditure in the then-$4.9 million budget on April 30 with the goal of saving as much as possible.

The first two items slashed by the supervisors were new office equipment and contributions to a fund that eventually would fund moving into a new building.

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The board also saved money by not replacing Officer Keith McCray Jr., who resigned to pursue a career change, and by postponing adding a trail system in Happle's Meadow Wetland Preserve.

Additional changes in the budget were made to fuel allocations and supplies for Eagle Scout projects.

While the changes are not permanent cuts in the budget, those changes should almost balance the budget, which Township Manager Mike Christopher noted in April was down $100,000 compared to 2007 and 2008.

"Based on an 8 percent reduction in revenue, we need to cut expenditures by $313,568 to balance revenues and costs for 2009," Christopher said in early April.

Although income tax revenue was up 19.5 percent this April compared to the previous year, Christopher warned the board that the township could see more losses in the coming months as people apply for refunds.

Despite moves by neighboring municipalities to cut spending by eliminating employees, Supervisor Elaine Gladhill said Washington Township managed to find ways to save money without compromising staff.

"And we did not lose any employees over that $303,200, other than one (police) officer who resigned voluntarily," she said.

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