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TMCNet:  Hazle Twp. ends year in black, won't up taxes

[December 11, 2012]

Hazle Twp. ends year in black, won't up taxes

Dec 11, 2012 (Standard-Speaker - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Hazle Township is ending the year in the black and looking ahead to the new year with optimism.

The board of supervisors on Monday approved the township's 2013 budget -- a balanced $4.4 million fiscal plan that requires no increase in taxes.

"We are going to finish the year in the black, which is a pretty big deal in today's economy," board President William Gallagher said.

According to Gallagher, township coffers held sufficient funding in 2012 for all planned municipal projects to be completed with enough money left over to complete a few more projects before the end of the year.

"We got all our planned projects done in 2012 and were able to accomplish a couple additional projects," Gallagher said.

Additional projects included installation of storm drainage pipes in the area of Chestnut Hill Drive at the Humboldt Industrial Park, and a roof replacement project at the township garage.

"Even with those additional projects, we're ending the year with a small surplus of about $200,000," Gallagher said.

The tax rate will stay unchanged at 0.75 mills and all township services will remain the same or be improved in 2013, Gallagher said.

Solicitor Charles Pedri said the proposed budget had been advertised and available for public inspection for more than 20 days prior to Monday's board action. There were no public comments received on the document during that time, Pedri said.

In other business at Monday's board meeting, the supervisors: n Approved a request from Miller-Keystone Blood Center to use the Township Commons building every Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. as a satellite office and blood drive location.

n Approved an ordinance authorizing a 10-year cable franchise agreement with Service Electric Cablevision. Pedri said the updated franchise agreement will generate revenue for the township, as it requires the cable company to pay 5 percent of certain gross revenues to the township. Gallagher noted that the franchise agreement does not make Service Electric the exclusive service provider in the township. Other service providers are eligible to operate in the township under the same type of franchise agreement, Gallagher said.

n Approved an agreement for Hazle Township Volunteer Fire Company to provide fire and rescue service in the township. Gallagher said the agreement is a necessary formality that aids the fire company in securing financing for an upcoming equipment purchase.

n Approved tax repository sale of an abandoned property in the township for $1,500.

n Approved an application by the NBTY nutritional supplement distribution center in the Humboldt Industrial Park for preliminary approval of an facility expansion project. Pedri said the township planning commission reviewed the plans and recommended approval. The expansion would add 400,000 additional square feet to the company's existing 413,000-square-foot facility, Pedri said.

n Approved partial payment to Franzosa Trucking Co. for a road paving project on 19th and 20th streets in the township. Township engineer John Synoski of Schumacher Engineering said the balance of the bill would be paid in spring 2013 if deficiencies in the work are corrected. According to Synoski, problems with the paving project involve asphalt that failed to meet bid specifications.

n Approved award of bids for equipment and materials that were opened at the board's October meeting, and bids for tack coat and asphalt sealer that were opened at the November meeting.

mlight@standardspeaker.com ___ (c)2012 the Standard-Speaker (Hazleton, Pa.) Visit the Standard-Speaker (Hazleton, Pa.) at standardspeaker.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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