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Antrim Township supervisors reluctantly pass 2011 budget

December 29, 2010|By KATE S. ALEXANDER | kate.alexander@herald-mail.com

A hesitant board of supervisors passed Antrim Township's calendar year 2011 budget Wednesday.

The board sat in silence Wednesday morning waiting for one another to make the motion needed to approve the budget, which won preliminary approval on Nov. 23.

"It seems we are all hesitating on this," Supervisor Fred Young III said, breaking the silence.

Supervisor James Byers said that the budget could not completely please everyone and moved to approve it.

In a 4-0 vote, the 2011 budget passed.

Supervisor Curtis Myers was absent.

For 2011, the supervisors took a conservative approach to revenue but still maintained a zero mill property tax rate, Township Secretary Mary Klein said.

Antrim Township overestimated its revenue for 2010, with general fund revenue falling $1,690,101 short of budget, according to township documents.

Antrim has not levied property taxes for the last two years.

The township's main revenue sources are other local taxes, state and federal funds, interest income and fees.

Revenue for the general fund in 2011 is expected to reach $2,361,757, according to township documents.  

But general fund expenditures, estimated at $3,302,910, are projected to exceed revenue by more than $900,000, the difference of which will be made up with a $941,500 transfer from the landfill fund, according to township documents.

Although the township will balance 2011 revenues and spending with landfill funds, it anticipates closing 2010 with $8,415,141 remaining in its general fund, according to township documents.

Across its nine funds, the township expects to end 2010 with $21,587,060 in reserve and fund balances, according to the documents.

A 3 percent cost of living increase was budgeted for all employees in 2011, Klein said.

She said in an e-mail that the actual pay increases for each employee will be determined by the board of supervisors at its reorganization meeting on Jan. 3, and that the budgeted 3 percent increase was just an estimate.

For 2011, the township estimated it would spend $792,780.17 on wages, $365,305.40 on employee health insurance, $6,957 on life insurance and $31,500 on dental and vision benefits, according to township documents.

In 2010, the township spent $707,590.39 on wages and $321,549.11 on health insurance, according to documents.  Vision, dental and life insurance benefit figures from 2010 were not available.

One of the largest expenditures in the 2011 budget is road improvements. The township plans to spend $1,011,000 on road improvement projects, Klein said, with $623,000 coming from the general fund and $388,000 coming through a transfer of Pennsylvania liquid fuels tax revenue from the township's highway aid fund.

On Wednesday, the supervisors also voted 4-0 to approve an increase in its street light rates for when Pennsylvania's electric rate caps expire on Jan. 1, 2011.

Antrim Township bills homeowners in the Greenway and Woodlawn developments as well as in the State Line area for the electricity it supplies to street lights.

Most customers will see a $2 increase in their quarterly fee, while those in the Woodlawn development will see a $1.50 increase.

During the public comment portion of the meeting residents continued to raise concerns about pollution from the $95 million Norfolk Southern Intermodal facility planned near Exit 3 of Interstate 81.

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