The Cranberry Eagle
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Article published December 26, 2012

Jackson OKs budget with no tax hike
Spending plan totals $2.2M

Bob Schultz
Cranberry Eagle

JACKSON TWP — Supervisors Thursday evening approved a $2.2 million final overall budget that holds property taxes at current levels.

The property tax rate will remain at 7.875 mills. The property tax rate is separated into 5.25 mills for general purposes, 1.125 mills for fire services, 0.75 mills for road machinery and 0.75 mills for debt services.
“It’s a good budget compared to what we’ve been dealing with (in the past few years),” said Supervisor Ron Lutz.
“This a been a great year (for Jackson Township). We’ve accomplished a lot,” said supervisors’ chairman Jay Grinnell, who said the supervisors have made zoning, ordinance and personnel changes that all have been positive. “There’s better accountability all around.”
“Financially, we’re better,” Lutz said.
“The roads are getting done,” said supervisor Gary Goehring.
Township manager Chris Rearick said in his budget summary that the past year has been one of change in the township, including continued study of staffing levels; minimizing costs, planning for future road improvements and adopting a new zoning ordinance and map.
Modest growth in the township has resulted in increases in the township’s tax base, with an increase in earned income tax revenues, he said.
Local service tax revenue is also expected to increase as ongoing development in Jackson’s Pointe Phase 1 flex warehouse at Route 19 and Lindsay Road and other new businesses are expected to add about 140 jobs next year.
The property tax revenues also are projected to increase as a mill is currently worth $41,000, up from about $40,000 one year ago. A mill is equal to $1 in tax revenue for each $1,000 of a property’s assessed value.
The township is planning a number of capital improvements for 2013 including:
• A roads study. The township has budgeted money to fund a study of select township roads, about 24 in total, to affirm compliance with the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code in the enforcement of weight limits.
• Ordinance codification. Township ordinances have not been codified for several years. The lack of updated codification, township officials said, creates confusion and lack of accessibility to residents, business and property owners, and developers.
“Given the recent adoption of a new stormwater, grading, and zoning ordinance as well as revisions to the subdivision and land development ordinance, revisions in the 2013 year are timely,” said Rearick.
• Liquid spray system. The township is considering buying a liquid spray system for use with roads in subdivisions and the park and ride facility.
• Road projects. Funds are budgeted to improve the remainder of Pattison Street Extension from Ramsey Road north to Evans City.
One to two additional residential streets may also be included for funding and will be evaluated based on condition, Rearick said.
The township also plans to update computer software and buy a new police vehicle in 2013.
Rearick said the goal is to develop a 5- to 10-year capital improvements plan.