Middlesex OKs preliminary budget

November 20, 2020 Cranberry Local News

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MIDDLESEX TWP — Supervisors granted preliminary approval of a $3.4 million budget Wednesday night after discussing a millage restructuring. There is no proposed tax increase.

Adam Hartwig, township manager, initially brought the idea to rearrange current millage to supervisors during the Nov. 11 work session.

In the past, the township has had a 12-mill tax structure, with 1.5 mills going toward the fire tax, 1.5 mills going toward the debt service and 9 mills going toward the general fund.

Hartwig suggested the millage be rearranged to put 1.5 mills toward the fire tax and 10.5 mills toward the general collection. This would eliminate the debt service tax.

In a presentation to supervisors, Hartwig said he believes the township doesn't need to take on new debt at this time. By restructuring the millage, Hartwig hopes to make the township's budget more sustainable.

“It sees us reinvesting more of our revenues back into capital projects and our infrastructure,” Hartwig said.

Specifically, Hartwig said the additional general fund millage will allow the township to focus more on roads and bridges.

The proposed budget anticipates $3,411,964 in revenues and $3,410,431 in expenses. Real estate and earned income tax are budgeted to comprise about $1.5 million of revenues.

“For Middlesex Township … the average property is assessed at $25,000,” Hartwig said.

According to Hartwig's analysis, he said the average Middlesex homeowner can expect to pay roughly $2,500 to Mars Area School District, $600 to Butler County and $300 to the township in annual real estate taxes.

“I'm confident that this proposed budget provides for an excellent return on investments,” Hartwig said.

In the area of expenses, the tentative budget allows for $492,643 for the police department and $53,000 for the fire department.

Public works is slated for about $1.2 million, or about 35% of total budgeted expenses.

“For our roads, paving, bridges, storm sewer upgrades and winter maintenance,” Hartwig said.

Hartwig simultaneously presented the supervisors with an “aggressive and successful” road 2021 program. Among other things, the township plans to pave part or all of Alderson, Fulton, Kyle, Sand Hill and Steiner Bridge roads next year.

The supervisors unanimously approved the preliminary budget.

The final budget is expected to be approved in December. The preliminary budget will be available for public review.

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Samantha Beal

Samantha Beal