Township passes no-tax-hike budget

The Woodward Township supervisors approved the township’s 2014 budget, 2-0, at Wednesday night’s meeting.

A motion to approve the $315,079 budget, which holds the line on all taxes, was made by Vice Chairman Tom Frantz and seconded by supervisor Wayne Robinson. Chairman Alan Worth was absent.

Zoning officer Gary Knarr gave a Planning Commission report from the comission’s meeting on Dec. 11, during which the township’s floodplain ordinance was discussed. To comply with changes to floodplain maps being made by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the township’s current ordinance has been submitted to the agency; if any necessary changes to meet the federal guidelines are determined, Knarr said, the supervisors can vote on whether to update the ordinance or amend the current one.

Knarr presented three zoning permit applications submitted during the month of December: a storage shed at 3891 W. Fourth St., submitted by James Chapman; and ground-mount solar systems at 882 and 884 E. Emery’s Church Road, submitted by Tim and Martha Cooper. The permits were approved 2-0.

Knarr also reported that Impact Advertising had submitted a request to name a private road at 4642 S. Route 220.

The advertising agency, previously located on West Third Street in Williamsport, recently purchased the property and was requesting to name the road that leads to the building as Madison Avenue. However, Robinson pointed out that the short road is “basically a driveway” and that naming it would serve no purpose. Frantz agreed, and the request was denied 2-0.

The supervisors also approved the township’s Emergency Operations Plan, which must be re-approved every two years. Emergency Management Coordinator Chris Kerns was absent, but township secretary Judy Carpenter said he asked her to inform the supervisors that “no changes were made or required.” The plan was approved by a vote of 2-0.

The supervisors then voted to approve the Repeated False Alarm Ordinance, which provides for citations and other actions if a business has so many false fire alarms within a given period. The township’s volunteer firefighters had been plagued with false alarms in recent months, stemming from improper maintence of alarm systems.

“I don’t care if we get a dime from it, I just want it to stop,” said Fire Chief Richard Whalen, referring to financial penalties defined in the ordinance, which was approved 2-0.

In other business, the supervisors heard the following registrations of property: Owen Hinkleman to Joseph P. and Dorothy L. Eiswert; Pine Mountain Developing to DG Management Inc.; and John E. Leisenring to Roy L. and Lucia F. Pursel.

The supervisors also unanimously approved their 2014 meeting dates on the third Wednesday of each month at the township building, 4910 S. Route 220.