by Jonathan Weaver
Manor Township supervisors will hold the first of two budget workshops tomorrow at noon to develop the 2014 budget.
Both meetings will be held in October as opposed to last year when meetings were held in the middle of November.
At the township public meeting earlier this month, Fabian said he was in discussion with Secretary Jill Davis about beginning the process earlier.
“We’re not up against the clock by (any) means, but this would give us some time to review and contemplate some things,” Fabian said.
One area that will continually be discussed is the $50,000 part-time police budget with both reoccurring and new expenses.
In November 2012, Chief Michael Karabin, Sgt. Terry Bish and the then-seven police officers were all given 60-cent pay raises. All were given more than $14 per hour, but at last year’s workshops, representatives requested $15 each across-the-board regardless of rank.
As was also considered last year, supervisors will also ponder adding additional hours on the weekday schedule for patrol.
Police representatives also brought up sustainability issues with a vehicle.
Earlier this month, supervisors added to that list of issues when Fabian brought up the possibility of having Lenape Tech students construct a detention bench for violators while in custody at the Byron Street police station.
Lenape Tech Welding Instructor Ted Zablocki is reportedly willing if supervisors would pay the $400 for bench materials.
About $900 remains in the current capital purchases-portion of the budget, but supervisors tabled discussion on the bench. Supervisor Paul Rearick thought additional policies in the police handbook would be necessary before a detention bench is implemented.
“It’s a tool, but I think there would have to be strict guidelines as to how it would be utilized, when it would be utilized,” Rearick said.
It would take about a week to construct the bench.
Supervisors are also considering implementing a policy where township firefighters would need to receive authorization to purchase materials through their special tax account.
Firefighters currently receive one mill of taxes through the municipality for truck payments, insurance, repairs, building maintenance and fuel.
An audit on the account was completed September 17, and while no outstanding checks were found, auditors found some items were not accounted for through receipts.
As Supervisor Jim McGinnis explained to Fire Department Treasurer John Breski, fire department officials would come before Davis for authorization prior to purchase.
“That way we’d have a better count of where the money’s going,” McGinnis said.
A ‘gentlemen’s agreement’ was in-place before agreeing on the allowed purchases.
Breski said two weeks ago there were no problems if that was the supervisors’ decision.
The second budget workshop will be at 2PM Tuesday, October 22.
After the two budget workshops, supervisors plan to present a tentative budget at the November 6th regular Township meeting.
After a tentative approval the budget will be available for public review and comment until the December 4th regular Township meeting at 7:00 P.M. where it will be voted upon.
The tentative budget and subsequent December vote would eliminate a need for a last-minute special meeting prior to December 31 – as there was December 28, 2012.