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The 2020 Township of Shaler General Fund budget was presented on November 12, 2019. This budget is presented with a millage of 3.49 which is a tax increase of 1 mill. This is the first tax increase in the Township since January 1, 2009. Township management explains that this tax increase is necessary due to several factors. The largest expenditure in the 2020 General Fund Budget is the salaries and benefits for the 27 full time police officers, 24 full time public works employees and administrative staff. Wages and benefits have maintained minimal increases over the past several years but remain the largest expenditure for the Township. Increasing infrastructure costs have continued to escalate and have dictated the need for this tax increase.
The 2020 budget includes a total of $775,658 for winter snow/ice control. Shaler’s winter maintenance program allows for the purchase of 7,750 tons of salt and $185,000 in personnel costs. The 2020 road paving budget is slated for $1,450,000. This is an increase of 84% over the 2019 paving budget. The Township has been reducing the annual paving budget for five years and the conditions of Township owned roads has warranted a significant increased commitment to this line item. Another budget category that continues to increase is storm sewer construction. Much of the Township infrastructure was installed in the late 1950’s-60’s, a time when storm sewers were constructed of corrugated metal piping. Over the years, the bottom of this piping has eroded, resulting in significant sinkholes throughout the Township. Many of these lines were installed at depths in excess of 20 feet requiring the Township to grant these projects to outside contractors. Another increasing cost to the Township is storm damage repair. Creek bed dredging and tree removal from streams to prevent additional flooding are unplanned expenses that are necessary to protect lives and property. The Township is required by the PA Department of Environmental Protection to develop a Municipal Storm Sewer Pollution Reduction Plan. This new environmental mandate requires a commitment of $200,000 to address this mandate. The Township continues to provide financial support to the Shaler North Hills Library, the Shaler-Hampton Emergency Medical Services as well as the volunteer fire companies.
The 2019 average assessed value of a residential home in Shaler Township is $128,170. This new millage rate will result in an annual increase of $ 128.14. Township Manager Tim Rogers stated “This tax increase is the first tax increase in 11 years. The Township has been fiscally prudent, however, the increasing costs of personnel, road paving, winter, and infrastructure maintenance has made this tax increase a necessity. Township management is committed to provide the expected level of services to our residents and additional tax revenues are needed to ensure delivery of these services.” The Board of Commissioners will vote on the proposed tax increase on Tuesday, December 10th, 2019.
The 2020 General Fund and Sanitary Sewer Budget link