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Salisbury Township budget talks underway

With the end of the fiscal year June 30, a municipal business manager’s thoughts turn to the next year’s budget.

And while coaches may be putting fall sports teams through their paces, Salisbury Township Director of Finance Paul Ziegenfus is sharpening his pencil.

So far, so good.

During the workshop following the July 22 township commissioners’ meeting, Ziegenfus briefed township officials about the 2022 budget and an anticipated $1.4-million windfall in COVID-19 relief funds.

“We’ve been talking awhile about internal needs,” Ziegenfus began, noting public works projects, including $550,000 in road work approved by commissioners at the July 22 meeting.

Ziegenfus said the first draft of the 2022 township budget would be presented at the Sept. 23 commissioners’ meeting. At the workshop for that meeting, Ziegenfus will provide a budget summary.

“We’ve gotten some additional ARPA funds from COVID,” Ziegenfus said during the workshop.

ARPA stands for the American Rescue Plan Act.

After the meeting, Ziegenfus told a reporter for The Press Salisbury Township expects to receive $1.4 million in ARPA funds.

Approximately $727,000 has been received by the township, The remaining amount will be received in one year.

The funds can be spent for water and sewer projects and stormwater projects.

Ziegenfus told The Press the township could apply for lost revenue, adding, “That gives us some flexibility.”

“It sounds as though we are in a good place,” Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners President Deb Brinton said during the workshop.

Here’s the budget preparation schedule for township meetings, as outlined by Ziegenfus:

July 22 - Budget timeline presented.

Aug. 13 - Ziegenfus and department heads complete line item budget requests.

Aug. 16-27 - Ziegenfus, Salisbury Township Manager Cathy Bonaskiewich and Salisbury Township Assistant Manager Sandy Nicolo meet with township department heads to discuss 2022 budget requests.

Aug. 30 - Ziegenfus develops the first draft of the 2022 budget and distributes it to Bonaskiewich and Nicolo for review.

Sept 2-11 - Ziegenfus meets with Bonaskiewich and Nicolo to review the first draft of the 2022 budget.

Sept. 18 - Ziegenfus makes revisions to budget draft if necessary.

Sept. 23 - Ziegenfus distributes the first draft of the budget at the commissioners’ workshop.

Oct. 14 - The township fire services director and representatives of Eastern and Western Salisbury fire companies present budget requests to commissioners.

Oct. 28 - Public works and police department budget requests presented to commissioners.

Nov. 10 - The first reading of the preliminary 2022 proposed budget will be presented during the commissioners’ meeting. The budget will be advertised. Ziegenfus will present a capital replacement plan for discussion. The meeting is being held on a Wednesday not on the first Thursday, which would be Nov. 11, Veterans Day, when it would normally be held.

Nov. 23 - Ziegenfus leads budget discussion at workshop to finalize it for adoption.

Dec. 9 - Ziegenfus presents the 2022 budget and tax ordinance for adoption by commissioners. If not adopted, it will be presented at the scheduled Dec. 23 commissioners’ meeting.

The Salisbury Township Board of Commissioners next meets 7 p.m. Aug. 12, in the municipal building, 2900 S. Pike Ave.