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East Allen Township reviews preliminary 2021 budget

At its Oct. 22 meeting, East Allen Township Board of Supervisors reviewed the 2021 preliminary township budget. Projected revenues come in at $2,445,975, and expenses are anticipated at $2,369,120. This leaves a budget excess of $76,855.

At this juncture, barring the unforeseen, the 2021 budget will not include a tax increase.

Reached after the meeting, Rose Wedde, township secretary and treasurer, said there has not been a tax hike in the township since 2006.

Supervisors are contending with uncertainty about the effects of COVID-19 on the budget. Earned income tax and real estate tax receipts can be difficult to estimate in the current environment. There could be an emergency by the end of the year that could effect the budget for 2021.

Starting with a 2020 budget possessing little fat makes balancing the budget without a tax hike even more challenging. Supervisors are considering reducing charitable giving and any other cost-saving opportunities they find from the township budget.

The township received more than $475,000 from Northampton County for COVID-19 costs. Township Vice Chairman Mark Schwartz explained the supervisors must motion to allow for the expenditure of the funds. The funds must be spent by Dec. 31. The motion passed unanimously.

Township Manager Brent Green said he has a list of things the township needs to purchase.

“This money will help,” Green said.

The supervisors also passed a resolution for all PPL streetlights to be converted to LED lights. Schwartz asked Green if he would approach MetEd to learn if it would follow PPL’s lead and make a similar arrangement with the township. MetEd has a smaller number of streetlights in the township than PPL.

“In the long run, this conversion will save the township money,” Schwartz said.

LED lights can reduce energy costs up to 30 percent.

Two resolutions were passed to request $60,000 in grant money for the township to purchase a new pickup truck for the public works department.

In his ambulance corps update, Eric Snyder reported 49 incidents, including 13 advanced life support, 18 basic life support and four motor vehicle accident calls during September.