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New Garden board approves 2018 prelim budget

11/14/2017 01:28PM ● Published by Richard Gaw

By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

After gathering on four occasions to hammer out figures and projections for next year, the New Garden Board of Supervisors gave approval to the township's 2018 preliminary budget, at its Nov. 13 meeting.
The projected balance sheet for the township totals $12,816,520 for next year, which includes an equal split of $5,599,870 in expenditures and revenue in its General Fund. On the fund's revenue side, top revenue sources will include $1.3 million in real estate taxes, and $2.9 million in local enabling taxes. On the revenue ledger, the top expenditure from the General Fund will be to the Southern Chester County Regional Police Department at a projected $2.06 million,  and $517,100 for street and highway maintenance.
The General Fund was one of 12 budget allocations projected for the township for next year. The others include (with allocations) the Fire Fund, $123,750; the Parks Fund, $46,500; the Sewer Fund, $2,320,400; the Airport (New Garden Flying Field) Fund, $792,200; the Debt Service Fund, $328,700; the Capital Fund, $540,400; the Open Space Fund, $1,365,000; the Sewer Capital Fund, $630,000; the Airport Capital Fund, $184,000; the Capital Reserve Fund, $415,700; and the township's State Liquid Fuels Fund, which is projected to be $470,000.
There will be a 30-day grace period on the budget, before the board will be asked to sign off on the final budget at its Dec. 18 meeting.
In other township business, the board approved the final subdivision and land development plan for the construction of a Tractor Supply Company retail store on Newark Road, just north of the A-Plus Sunoco store near Route 41 and currently being designed by Penn Terra Engineering, Inc.
Introduced by attorney John Jaros, the planned development of Tractor Supply Company asked for waivers from maximum disturbance of cautionary and steep slopes, wetlands and buffer zones.
Engineers drawings unveiled at the presentation indicated that the franchise will have two entrances -- one from Newark Road, and the other connecting from the parking lot behind the A-Plus Sunoco to Route 41. There will also be two illuminated Tractor Supply Company exterior signs near each entrance, that will measure 14 feet high and 75 square feet in size. Both sides of the signs will be illuminated, to increase visibility along both roadways.
Russell Langer, a township resident who has lived for the past nine years in a home that is adjacent to the projected Route 41 entrance to Tractor Supply Company, objected to the proposed rain water run-off plans for the businesses' side entrance, which he feared would contribute to additional rainwater in his driveway. He also objected to the store's planned exterior signage, one of which he said would be placed 11 yards from his home, and be lit all night long.
"I have a concern with that, because my quality of life will be interfered with a sign that is glaring all night through my bedroom window," Langer said.
Jaros said that the signs are being constructed in accordance with township standards, and that all stormwater drainage related to the development is in compliance with township and PennDOT standards.
"The township's Zoning Hearing Board was very cognizant of [Langer's] location, and in fact, they required us to build a 16-foot-high fence so that the gentleman wouldn't see the back of Tractor Supply Company, but chose to approve the sign at its current location," Jaros said. "We believe the sign is going to meet the township's specifications with respect to size and illumination."
After recommendation from the supervisors, Jaros said that the store owners would agree to turn off the store's illuminated signage at 11 p.m. every night.
The board's sign-off was also made with several stipulations. In order to proceed, the project must be in compliance with several recommendations and conditions made by governing bodies, as well as meet all township ordinances. The board also requested that all principals in the planned development continue speaking with representatives from PennDOT, in order to assure that the project continues to meet all PennDOT conditions and standards.
Tractor Supply Company, the largest operator of rural lifestyle retail stores in America, owns and operates over 1,600 stores in 49 states, supplying basic maintenance products to home, land, pet and animal owners. Founded in 1938 as a mail order catalog business offering tractor parts to America's family farmers, Tractor Supply Company reports annual revenues of about $6.8 billion.
The next supervisors' meeting will be on Nov. 20 at 7 p.m., which will begin with a presentation on the new facility for the Southern Chester County Regional Police Department.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email rgaw@chestercounty.com.



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