Kennett Township approves preliminary 2017 budget
11/22/2016 03:00PM ● Published by Richard Gaw
The Kennett Township Board of Supervisors gave approval to the township's preliminary budget for 2017, at its Nov. 16 meeting.
The budget snapshot takes six township funds into account: general, library, open space, sewer, state and capital.
As of Jan. 1, 2017, the township's general fund beginning balance for its general fund will be $5.7 million, with $3.43 million in income projected for next year, with $2.4 million of that figure coming from local enabling taxes -- which will be nearly equal to last year's budget.
The total revenue comes in at 13.2 percent less than the 2016 budget, which Township Manager Lisa Moore said was likely due to the high number of DuPont employees who either retired, or were the victims of layoffs in the company over the past year.
On the expense side, the township forecasts a $4.2 million outlay from its general fund in 2017, which will include a transfer of $1.5 million from the general fund to its capital fund, that will be used to pay for the reconstruction of the historic Chandler Mill Bridge, paving projects, capital equipment, and the purchase of a new police vehicle.
The largest increase in general fund spending is reflected in a 33.8 percent boost in police expenses, which will be 14 percent higher than 2016's budget and 12 percent higher than projected 2016 expenses. The board is considering whether or not to hire another police officer in 2017, which will be decided by the time the final 2017 budget is finalized.
While open space income in 2017 is projected at $796,000, open space expenses are anticipated to be $3.24 million, to account for the anticipated easement purchases of two properties -- totaling 170 acres -- next year.
The township's sewer income for 2017 is projected to be slightly more than $2 million. Next March, the township expects to receive $1.5 million in sewer connection fees for the Ravello apartment complex on Miller's Hill Road, which kicks off construction next spring. Expenses for the sewer fund next year are projected at $1.1 million.
The township's library fund will remain at $154,050 -- no change from 2016. The state revenue is projected to come in at $313,645, while expenses will be $300,000.
In other township news, Police Chief Lydell Nolt credited Kennett Township police detective Amanda Wenrich for her work in investigating a burglary that took place on Jan. 27, 2016, on Ironstone Lane in the township, that resulted in the theft of jewelry and money valued at several hundred thousand dollars.
On Oct. 17, Kennett Township police arrested 39-year-old Kebbie Ramseur of Manor, Del. for felony burglary and related offenses. Investigators gathered DNA evidence from the crime scene which linked Ramseur to the crime. Ramseur is being linked by investigators to a multi-state burglary crime spree which targeted high end residences throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey.
“What [the burglars] did not take into consideration is the fact that we have a committed detective [Wenrich] who was also very proficient in gathering some DNA evidence on the scene of the crime, and link that DNA evidence with cell phone records of suspects involved in the ring,” Nolt said.
Nolt also outlined a few of the department's community policing projects they participated in during October. They provided services at the Mushroom Cap 13.1 race, the fall festival at Greenwood Elementary School, the Hillendale Husky 5K race, the Monster Mash 5K race, the Longwood Fire Company's open house and the department's Halloween police outreach event.
The police department, in conjunction with the DEA, hosted a drug take-back event on Oct. 22. Nolt said that 25 pounds of unused prescription medication and drug-related items was dropped off.
The board approved the preliminary subdivision plan, which include a list of conditions, for the 9.97-acre Sweetbriar development in the township. The property is scheduled to become a 38-unit residential community, and divided into nine clustered structures.
After several years of planning, the bridge on Marshall Bridge Road recently received new renovation to its structure, improvements to the nearby stream bed and the installation of a new guardrail, which was completed in two weeks. Detour signs have been removed near the site.
Fencing at the dog park at the new Barkingfield Park was installed on Nov. 21. It should be completed by Thanksgiving.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.