Porter Township approves budget

Porter Township Supervisors Thursday night approved a 2018 budget that keeps real estate taxes at 5.543 mills.

The $166,683 spending plan was approved 3-0 with supervisors Ron Markle, Irv Rauch and John Ingraham each voting yes.

Prior to the budget approval, several residents questioned the township’s finances.

Gretchen Speicher asked supervisor why they continue to maintain such high cash reserves.

She noted that the cash balance for this year’s budget was at $477,824

Between 2015 and 2016 the cash balances ranged from $402,498 to $823,820, according to her figures.

In addition, between 2009 and 2017, the millage rate was hiked from 2.793 to 5.543, an increase of 88 percent.

However, the last millage increase came in 2015.

Supervisors did not dispute her figures.

“I think your excess revenue is way too much,” Speicher said. “I ask taxes to be reduced by three quarters of a mill.”

Supervisors were asked if they have some kind of a plan for the money.

“No. We don’t have a plan,” Rauch said.

Markle added, “We do have a plan, just nothing written down.”

Supervisors proceeded to explain that several roads are in bad need of repair, including Shaffer Lane and Shady Lane.

Markle said supervisors regularly consider roads that require work.

Supervisors were also asked about their plans for police coverage.

Rauch said the township is not ending its agreement with the Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police Department, a multi-municipal law enforcement agency that includes Jersey Shore, as well as Piatt and Nippenose townships.

“We are not going with state police coverage,” he said.

Markle said supervisors had been exploring other possibilities at less cost.