So far, it appears no surprises are in store next year for South Middleton Township taxpayers.
South Middleton Township supervisors last week tentatively approved a balanced municipal budget for 2019 that involves “no new taxes and no tax increases,” Supervisor Tom Faley said last week.
Although South Middleton has no general real estate tax, township property owners would continue to pay a 0.25-mill fire tax next year under the proposal. Residents also would continue to pay a 0.35-mill road tax in 2019.
South Middleton initiated a road tax in 2018 due to “a number of challenges our township has been facing over the past several years. We’ve had an increasing number of roads built in the township, and the incoming revenue has been insufficient to cover this,” Township Manager Cory Adams said last year.
Next year’s tentative $7.4 million spending plan includes $1.2 million earmarked for road expenditures, Faley said last week. So far, officials are proposing six road paving projects and two bridge replacements.
The township’s largest planned expenditure for next year is $2.7 million in employee salaries and benefits, which includes a 2.75-percent cost-of-living increase, Faley said. The township currently has 23 full-time employees and nine part-time workers “with no changes expected,” Faley said.
Also in the works for next year is a proposal to spend $366,500 on improvements to Spring Meadow Park. In March 2018, township supervisors approved Adams’ requests to apply for state grants that would further implement a municipal master plan for Spring Meadows Park that was developed in 2013. The 91.6-acre park is at 640 W. First St. just outside the village of Boiling Springs.
A planned Spring Meadows Active Play Improvements Project would involve the construction of an aquifer playscape with traditional playgrounds and splash pad, plus two multipurpose fields.
Also, township officials propose to spend $400,000 next year on a new road salt storage facility. “This would really enable us to stock up (on salt),” Faley said. “This year salt is really cheap, plus we’ve had mild winters for the past two years. Normally, we do 19 or 20 salt runs in a year, but last year we did only half of that.”
Finally, the proposed budget includes a $1,500 donation to the Amelia Givin Library. In September, library director Cynthia Stratton-Thompson requested a yearly donation from the township for the facility.
The library is in Mount Holly Springs, but hosts 4,535 card holders from South Middleton, or roughly a third of the township’s population. In 2017, South Middleton residents borrowed 104,148 items from the library, the equivalent of seven items per resident, Stratton-Thompson said.
In 2018, 350 South Middleton children registered for the library’s summer reading programs, comprising 60 percent of those who registered.
“I thought all those numbers made a pretty powerful statement about the library,” Faley said last week.
Township supervisors are scheduled to finalize next year’s budget on Dec. 13.