Catasauqua Press

Monday, December 17, 2018

No tax increase in Hanover’s proposed 2019 budget

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Township has lowest rate in Pa.; council expected to approve plan Dec. 5

At Hanover Township council’s regular meeting Nov. 19, Chairman Bruce Paulus announced that council had reviewed and approved the 2019 budget. It is available for public review and scheduled for official adoption at council’s Dec. 5 meeting.

With the new budget, the township will continue to have the lowest property tax rate in the state at one-quarter mill. The township, with its management team and business population, has maintained the low tax rate for more than a decade.

In other action, township Manager Christopher Garges passed several resolutions that put on paper township guidelines for compensory time, sick time and on-call compensation. The policies are unchanged from the practices followed, but the customary practices are now codified.

The township is going to purchase an electric vehicle for administrative use. The cost is $21,000, plus a state grant of $16,000, and another $500 in labor to install the charging station.

Public works Director Jeffry Mouer gave a detailed description of the township’s plans to combat the Spotted Lanternfly. The report from conservationists was encouraging. Few of the flies were spotted, and there appears to be small saplings in Canal Park where the flies like to lay eggs, but these can be removed. As Mouer explained, leaving some of their favorite trees (Tree of Heaven) gives them a place to burrow. Otherwise, they might pick a new tree and destroy those. The eggs do hibernate over the winter, according to Mouer.

The traffic mess on Race Street continues. In August, the latest projected completion date of paving to Postal Road was October. Township Engineer Albert Kortze reported Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is extending the paving season until Dec. 15 in an effort to get its projects done. Project delays are blamed on rainy weather, not project management. New base pavement cannot be set unless the temperature is 30 degrees and rising. Finish coat needs 40 degrees.

Work is proceeding to finish Willowbrook Road to the Race Street intersection. Completing the road will eliminate the bypass road and could alleviate some of the confusion.

FedEx drivers with double-tandem trailers are sitting on the side of Bullshead Road with hazard lights flashing trying to figure out how to cross the bridge with a 25-ton weight limit. Turning around is not a viable option.

The latest update from the solicitor is for PennDOT to take over Willowbrook Road by the end of the year.

Troxell Road got a review. Paulus contends the sinkholes were from breaks in the water line. At the last meeting, a sounding report indicated there were cracks in the substrate. The recommendation, at the time, was to hire a geologist to determine the extent of the damage.

Council plans to hold a short meeting Dec. 27 to pay any outstanding bills and to close the books on 2018.