Supervisors discuss Act 13 spending
Athens Township supervisors Wednesday began discussions on how to spend the township's 2013 impact fee funds.
Supervisors discussed ideas for how to allocate $410,488 the township will receive in Act 13 funding this year. The board will vote on the final allocation after more concrete figures for the items on its list are obtained - as early as supervisors' Aug. 28 meeting.
Supervisors agreed to allocate $50,000 toward renovations to the police department and municipal building. Police chief Larry Hurley submitted a request to supervisors asking for funds to update the department, including replacement of doors and glass windows for safety purposes and the expansion of the officers' locker room.
As part of that project, supervisors agreed to add the projected cost of replacing windows in the Herrick Avenue municipal building.
Supervisors also agreed to allocate $30,000 to the Athens Township Volunteer Fire Company to assist with payments on its platform truck. The township gave the same amount to the fire company last year, supervisors said.
Supervisor Ronald Reagan suggested that two new vehicles be purchased - a small dump truck with a plow and spreader and a seven-passenger vehicle for township use. For the township vehicle, Reagan suggested looking into a bi-fuel vehicle that can run on compressed natural gas as well as gasoline.
Reagan suggested $30,000 of this year's impact fee money be set aside for the new vehicle, in addition to $15,000 saved last year for that purpose.
Supervisors were divided on the type of vehicle to be purchased. Cheryl Wood-Walter agreed that the township should consider purchasing a CNG vehicle. "The state is really pushing this," she said.
However, supervisor Jack Walter said he would rather purchase a standard gasoline vehicle at a lower up-front cost, adding that it will take time for the less-expensive CNG fuel cost to offset the higher initial expense of a CNG vehicle. Walter asked that as much money as possible instead be used to repair township roads.
"Right now, there's a big need in a lot of different areas," Walter said.
Supervisor Christine Vough asked if the board would consider a recent request from the Athens Township Authority for a portion of the funds. The contribution would be used to offset an anticipated rate increase due to a planned $4 million sewer capacity upgrade.
Walter, a member of the authority's board, said the authority could benefit from Act 13 money in future years, but it was not on his priority list for 2013. The authority was established to be - and has been - self-sustaining, he said.
"Maybe in years to come, we can [give] some," he said. "I think my roads need it more than the sewer does right now. Maybe next year, they get the priority."
Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: email@example.com.