By Richard L. Gaw
The Kennett Township currently has $11,995,676 in assets, including $8,658,193 in its general fund, as of the first quarter of this year. These figures were shared by Township Manager Lisa Moore at the township's Board of Supervisors' meeting on May 20.
The township's three-month general fund revenues for the period beginning on Jan. 31 and ending March 31were $533,000, which was 13 percent less than 2012 and three percent less than the budget. The expenses during that time totaled $936,000, which represents a 34 percent increase over last year and one percent lower than the budget. The township's net income during the first quarter saw a loss of $403,000, a whopping 396 percent drop-off from last year, due to the fact that the supervisors gave an additional $100,000 to a local fire company for the purchase of capital equipment, and for a $100,000 purchase of a back hoe for the township, in January.
Moore said that taxes represented 83 percent of total general fund revenue and is operating at two percent of the fund's budget. Due to a tax decrease agreed to by the supervisors, the general fund's revenue was 83 percent behind last year's total revenue. Other sources of general fund revenue included service fees, general governments, permits and interest earned.
On the expense side, the township's fees were taken from six major categories, which were responsible for 96 percent of all general fund expenses. Leading the way were fire and emergency services at $331,000 and general government costs, tallied at $271,688. Other expenditures came from road repair and maintenance, capital expenditures, police expenses, a maintenance garage, as well as other categories which represented four percent of total expenses.
Moore said that the township's sewer fund received $79,000 over the first four months of 2013 – a four percent increase from 2012. Meanwhile, sewer fund expenses totaled $225,000, a 24 percent jump from last year. These expenses include all general maintenance of pump stations, as well as the sewer extensions and engineering costs and community system inspections. Moore said that the sewer fund will be making a $100,000 payment to the township's general fund this year, as part of a $821,250 loan. This loan will be paid in two $50,000 increments.
As of Jan. 1, 2013, the open space balance stood at $2,332,387 and as of March 31, stood at $2,429,977. The township's open space fund has received $149,000 for the first quarter of 2013, a three percent increase from the end of the first quarter of 2012. Open space expenses totaled $52,000, which included fee-in-lieu contributions made by the township to the Kennett Senior Center, the Kennett Area Parks and Recreation, the Anson B. Nixon Park and the Kennett Area Little League. Meanwhile, the township's net income for its sewer fund stood at $98,000.
The township's library fund received a revenue from interest and taxes of $41,000 for the first quarter of 2013, a 25 percent increase from last year's first quarter.
In other township business, the Board of Supervisors chose to spend approximately $208,000 to install a drainage system made of geo-web material along the banks of Marshall Bridge Road, in an effort to curb extended erosion that has occurred along the road. The drainage system will extend about 300 feet into a basin, and there will be new guide rails about 300 feet that will be installed along the road.
The road will be raised on the stream bank side, so that runoff is directed to the other side of the road.
Most of the work will be done off the road, and no extensive road closes are expected on the project. According to Moore, this solution was the least expensive option presented to the Board, but is expected fix the problem permanently, and will enable engineers to expand on the system in the future.
The Supervisors are considering passing an ordinance that will require all contractors doing business in the township to fill out a registration form when applying for a building permit, so that the information can be submitted to the township's earned income tax collector.
The Supervisors are considering a political sign placement ordinance that states the limitations that will provide certain restrictions on where signs can be placed and length of time signage can appear.
The Supervisors will be meeting with the County Commissioners Office on June 5, to discuss the plans for the future of the Chandler Mill Bridge. The meeting will not be open to the public.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.