New Garden sets 2017 budget at $15.3 million
12/20/2016 12:55PM ● Published by Richard Gaw
After spending three sessions loosening here and tightening there, the New Garden Township Board of Supervisors signed off on the township's 2017 preliminary budget, which anticipates budget expenditures totaling $15,359,230. The board agreed to the numbers at its Dec. 19 meeting.
Of the 12 separate funds, the township's general fund is highest, with $5.5 million earmarked for 2017, while $3.2 million is reserved for the sewer fund. Rounding out the largest funds are the open space fund, which will have $1.9 million to spend next year, and the airport capital fund for the New Garden Flying Field, which will be set at $1.5 million.
The $15.3 million expenditure figure figure represents a significant drop over the 2016 preliminary budget, which allocated expenditures at slightly more than $21.5 million.
In other township business, the board approved Ord. 2016 – R-4 Zoning -- establishing the Zoning District R-4 for the residential communities in the vicinity of the Hartefeld National Golf Club, in order to regulate setbacks, on-property building variances, and to create standards for subdivisions in the community.
The goal of the ordinance is to establish a new residential zoning district intended to convert existing non-conforming residential uses within the Hartefeld subdivision; provide for higher densities, a variety of housing types and community recreational facilities to meet the current and future housing needs of the township; direct high density residential uses to locations with direct access to major highways and commercials areas; and encourage the preservation of open space through the use of cluster housing options.
The residents of these communities recently received a letter notifying them of the township's intention to create the new zoning district, and 25 were in attendance at the township building on Dec. 5 to hear more about the new regulations.
The board also approved Resolution #759, in order to dissolve the New Garden Township Police Department on Dec. 31, at 11:59 p.m. The department will officially merge with the West Grove Police Department to begin the Southern Chester County Regional Police Department, and begin operations on Jan. 1, 2017. The board also agreed that the township will be responsible for the payment of the pension fund for the township's officers, before the end of the year.
Christopher Schubert, an attorney representing Eco-Site, a Durham, N.C.-based wireless communications developer, informed the board that the company intends to develop a new telecommunications tower location off of Yeatmans Station Road in the township, that will be used by T-Mobile, in order to provide increased reception, coverage and capacity for its subscribers in the area.
The property on which the tower will stand is currently being used for agricultural purposes, and also includes a horse-riding ring and corral. Schubert told the board that the tower would be 125-feet high, and include a small extension lightning rod. Site plans and an application for the development will be sent to the township for approval soon.
Ed Henry, a resident and board member of the Auburn Hills development, was joined by Anthony Kwoka, an Auburn Hills resident and the president of the development's home owners association, in appealing to the supervisors to consider enacting a firearms law in the township. Henry and Kwoka told the board that Auburn Hills residents have recently expressed concern that gun owners have been target shooting in the community lately, in close proximity to residents, with no restrictions related to distance or safe zones. As a reference, Henry and Kwoka provided the board with copies of the firearms laws recently enacted by Kennett Township.
Township manager Tony Scheivert announced the dates for monthly board of supervisors meetings for 2017, which will begin with an organizational meeting on Jan. 3. The additional board meetings will be held on Jan. 17, Feb. 21, March 20, April 17, May 15, June 19, July 17, Aug. 21, Sept. 18, Oct. 16, Nov. 20 and Dec. 18, and all meetings will begin at 7:30 p.m.
The board approved a 2017 contract with Southern Chester County EMS Medic 94, in the amount of $80,814; as well as approved two contracts for next year with the Avondale Fire Company: $110,500 for EMS service, and $191,500 for fire service, an increase of $20,000 from 2016.
The board also approved a $9,500 estimate for the repair of a truck bed on a 16-year-old township maintenance vehicle, as requested by Public Works Director Ken Reed.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.