SANATOGA PA – A proposal first advanced by the 2013 budget committee of Lower Pottsgrove’s Board of Commissioners – which advocated planning for long-term capital improvements that are likely to be more expensive than a 12-month budget will allow – is taking root this year.
Township Manager Ed Wagner announced during Thursday’s (Jan. 23, 2014) board meeting that he had already talked twice with department heads about what they envisioned as the municipality’s needs in a 5-year capital improvement plan.
Another meeting is anticipated during the first week of February, he said, with a goal to have submissions ready from each department by June. That’s when planning for the township’s 2015 budget gets under way.
Lower Pottsgrove faces several big-ticket repair or replacement decisions in coming years.
It wants to build two new bridges on Rupert and Pruss Hill roads, and remove crumbling structures that exist on both now. Commissioners have said they would like to add acreage as open space and park land if appropriate real estate becomes available at a right price. And they expect, sooner or later, to do something – either expand or build new – to deal with over-crowding in the cramped municipal building on Buchert Road.
Combined, those and less costly but no less important departmental needs could eat up millions of dollars between now and 2020. The 2013 budget committee that consisted of commissioners James Kaiser and former commissioner Michael McGroarty was the first to formally suggest the board create and annually contribute to a long-range account to fund such projects without squeezing taxpayers’ wallets.
Kaiser, who was at the board conference table when Wagner described his intentions, said he was pleased the idea would move ahead.
Unlike ones in years past, the 2015 budget committee will not include any commissioners as formal members, although all are likely to offer comments and input. Instead, the committee consists of Wagner and township bookkeeper Michele Christman.
Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ Jan. 23 meeting):
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