MANCHESTER – Mayor Kenneth Palmer provided details to the proposed 2017 municipal budget that was adopted at the May 8 council meeting.
The average homeowner, whose house is valued at $158,500, will see their municipal tax bill decrease, from $1,031.20 to $1,031.04. That’s the lowest tax rate residents have seen since 2013. The total budget is $33,906,697, an increase of $781,903 from last year’s budget of $33,124,794.63.
The local tax levy will see a decrease of $76,381.70, from last year’s $21,246,283.15 to this year’s $21,169,901.45.
“This budget allows to continue investing in Manchester’s infrastructure by continuing our paving plan, improving parks and updating our utilities while keeping taxes flat,” Palmer said in a statement. “Importantly, this budget sets our tax rate at the lowest it has been since 2013.”
This proposed budget includes: increased capital improvement account to $500,000; continued paving plan; continued systematic replacement of vehicles; continued park renovations; continued Manchester Day; full slate of concerts and recreation programs; and continued senior services.
Palmer broke down the budget by percentages. Salaries comprise 44 percent of the total budget. Operations come in second at 33 percent. Debts, statutory and “other” make up the remaining 25 percent.
The township has seen increased revenue streams through inspections, municipal court and state Department of Transportation grants. However, state aid has remained flat at $3,217,467 over the last three years.
Health care costs will decrease for the township, as those costs shift to members. Manchester will save $840,000, with a net cost of $4 million for 2017. The total cost of insurance is $5.15 million.
Palmer also touched upon the eastern and western side water and sewer budgets. The eastern side budget is $2.53 million. The biggest change in that budget is the paying off of the bond for purchase. The eastern sewer budget is $4.325 million, a reduction of $300,000.
The western water budget remained flat at $2.8 million. The western sewer budget increased $110,000 to $2.735 million due to debt service and repairs.
Manchester CFO Diane Lapp said copies of the budget are available in the township clerk’s office and the website, manchestertwp.com.