by Jonathan Weaver
South Buffalo Township supervisors are in the spirit of giving this holiday season.
In the midst of finalizing their 2017 budget, Vice-Chair Joe Charlton and Supervisor Paul Bergad announced that they would be giving their 2017 salaries to spread among the township’s seven employees.
“I’m going to donate back my 2017 supervisor salary – give all seven township employees a small token of appreciation, a net $200 bonus in (their) next paycheck,” Charlton said. “(We decided) prior to (Monday night’s) meeting.
Being close to Christmas and since we’re in a position to do that, we wanted to do that for the township employees. They work hard, they keep the township going, and I think it’s good to do that every now-and-then.”
Bergad added his appreciation – including to a pair of road workers and a police officer in-attendance.
“We did want to give something, but I couldn’t see using the taxpayers’ money to do it,” Bergad said.
Maintenance employees Bob Van Dyke and Dan Swartzlander said they were unaware of the generous bonus before last night’s meeting.
“I think it’s a nice gesture,” Swartzlander said.
Supervisors can earn $1,875 per year.
South Buffalo Township stuck to a nearly-$857,500 budget in 2016, but – before the final budget was adopted – Charlton said supervisors saw an unexpected shortfall.
“We were north of $100,000 shortfall with regard to our earned income tax – which made it difficult for us as we were trying to plan the budget here, trying to make up that shortfall,” Charlton said. “(But) we did it – we cut a lot of different costs in a lot of different areas that we don’t think will have a major impact.
“We stayed away from cutting costs on roads, as that’s very important to maintain the township roads, but we did try to tighten our belt in other areas.”
More than $290,000 is budgeted next year for the public works department.
According to the adopted nearly-$813,000 General Fund budget, supervisors will pay less in government membership fees, auditor wages and engineering and public utility services, to name a few, while anticipating increases in legal services, salaries and wages and snow and ice removal material.
Taxes will remain at 5.7 mills as also decided in November during the tentative budget passage.