London Grove presents balanced budget with no new taxes
By Steven Hoffman
London Grove Township is moving into 2020 with two new supervisors, no new taxes and a plentiful supply of road salt.
The board passed a 2020 budget of $3,481,928 at its November meeting. There are no new taxes included in the spending plan.
Jacqui Guenther, the director of finance and human resources, said that in the more than five years she has been on the job in London Grove, the township has held the line on taxes. “And I believe it goes back years before that,” she said.
The big income items for next year (rounded off to tens of thousands) are earned income tax at $1.87 million, real estate taxes at $639.5 thousand and fees from SECCRA the landfill for $544.5 thousand.
The major expenses are road maintenance at $463.0 thousand, support for the Avondale and West Grove fire companies at $297.8 thousand, and ambulance/Medic 94 at $180.8 thousand.
There are substantial individual expenses for salaries, administration and some road equipment.
The real estate tax remains at .125 mills. A mill is a tax of $1 of every $1,000 of assessed property.
When Guenther and township secretary Dawn Maciejezyk were asked what their priorities were for projects to support, they agreed that the top choice is completing a sidewalk on State Road near the Avon Grove High School. They also pointed to London Grove’s “honor” of having 62 bridges, the most of any township in Chester County. They have allotted $493,000 in 2021 and $495,000 in 2022 for repair and replacement of those bridges.
Some expense items are hard to predict. Guenther said one example is road salt which they use in response to bad winter weather. Inasmuch as London Grove’s leadership and residents in general have a reputation for their environmental consciousness and awareness of the stress salt puts on the roads and ground, in this township they use a use a beet juice combination for melting the ice on the roads.
“It’s not red,” Guenther said of the mixture.
She added that, in an effort to keep costs down, they buy as much as they can at the end of the season to stock up and get prepared for the next winter.
At the Dec. 11 meeting, they said goodbye to supervisors Richard Scott Harper and Thomas Szakas. Those outgoing supervisors will be replaced at the Jan. 6 reorganization meeting by Kevin Runey and Christine Allison. Future meetings after January are held on the second Wednesday of the month.