Thursday, December 02, 2021

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Washington Twp. Taxes, Sewer Fees Remain Same for 2022
Written by Mary Gibbs Kershner, Correspondent
2021-11-23

            Last Thursday night the Washington Township Board of Supervisors passed the township 2022 budget of $2,634,000. Tax rates and sewer fees will not be reduced, as many residents hoped. 

            Real estate tax rates are set at the current 2.7 mills. Additionally, the quarterly sewer fee remains at $318.29.  Prior to passing the budget the supervisors did a five-year study of township finances.  They determined that it would not be prudent to reduce revenue through a tax or sewer fee cut in 2022.  The supervisors reasoned that the current uncertainty in the economic situation across the United States, with inflation predicted to reach 6.2%, forced them to take a cautious approach with township finances. 

            Vice Chairman James Roma noted he would like to reduce taxes, but he is concerned about inflation and the financial uncertainty it creates. 

Township Chairman Dave Moyer reminded disappointed taxpayers in the audience that the township employees, particularly the township road crew, give great service for the money the township pays them, all funded by local tax dollars. 

            In other matters, Harold Brown, attorney for Prestige Property Partners, the owners of the proposed Edison Walk subdivision, requested the township trade a 1.5-acre parcel of land the township owns on Barto Road for a larger piece of 3.42 acres his client owns.  The board readily agreed to the transfer. 

              The township parcel was donated by a previous developer.  It was deed restricted for open space, firehouse, or other public use.  If the land transfer occurs, Prestige Property Partners will be able to construct a few more houses on the township's 1.5-acre parcel.  The township will benefit because it will be able to create a larger park system on the 3.4-acre piece. 

             The developer must request approval of the land transfer from the Berks County Court of Common Pleas.  The developer has agreed to assume all costs for the land exchange. 

              Township Supervisor Tom Powanda explained he approved the land transfer because the township can change its parking lot and add a new park or ball field.  Powanda noted it is a "no lose" proposal for the township. 

            In road news, the township agreed to pay Buckeye pipeline a $3,000 fee to review the township plan to straighten Barto Road.  Straightening Barto Road requires the township to encroach on the pipeline right of way. 

            Township Engineer John Weber, LTL Consultants, Inc., informed the supervisors that, during the reconstruction of Barto Road, over an acre of ground must be moved.  Weber explained a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit will be required for the project.  The intent of the permit is to protect against a discharge of water associated with construction activities. 

            The supervisors appointed Benjamin Masemore to the Berks County Farm Service Agency.  The supervisors agreed to permit the township tax collector to utilize the township municipal building for tax collection in 2022.  The township is seeking volunteers for its zoning board, planning commission, recreational board, environmental advisory board, and its uniform construction code board. 

            Moyer reminded residents to be thankful for the holiday season.  He thanked the township road crew for their work on the township war memorial.  He said, "Now, you can see the flag."  Moyer noted that, although it is after Veteran's Day, citizens should thank veterans for their service to the United States.  Additionally, Moyer urged residents to contribute to the Eastern Berks Fire Department fund drive. 

            The regular Washington Township Board of Supervisors will be held one week early due to Christmas.  The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 16 at 7 p.m.

            The township reorganization meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 3, 2022 at 5:30 p.m.


 

 

 

 

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