At the Nov 5, 2008 Board of Supervisors meeting the topic of Contractor Licensing in the Township was addressed as noted earlier. Township Solicitor, Mr. Gary Asteak reported that the State Legislature passed an act that in essence supersedes local ordinances dealing with contractor licensing to take effect in 2009. As such, the anticipated Lower Nazareth Twp. (LNT) ordinance would not yield the results desired and is not worth the effort.
There were three items on the agenda under Managers Report.
- Project Time Extension Reports
- Draft 2009 Budget
- Authorization to advertise use of CPA to perform Audit.
#1 – These extensions are requested by developers & applicants when they are not ready to proceed to the next step of their projects. In the past each and every extension was voted on and passed by the Board, a waste of public meeting time. In a prior Board meeting authorization was granted to the Township Manager to handle these as an administrative task and provide status reports (conceptually a good measure) to the Board. However, the implementation is lacking. In the past a citizen could monitor the Township Board Minutes and keep track of any given project and it’s status as time extensions were part of the Plan of Record, - NO longer. How does this impact you, why should you care? Here’s a scenario:
Say you were following the IDI Warehouse project (the one bordering Palmer Twp. which is currently in litigation) and the developer was scheduled to present at a future Board Meeting which you planned on attending and schedule your time accordingly. At an interim meeting the Developer files for an extension which was routinely (and justifiably) granted, and it became part of that meetings minutes. You read the minutes and see that IDI will not be at the next meeting, they have been granted an extension to XX/XX/2008. You modify your calendar to accommodate the change. Now these extensions are granted administratively (a good thing) but they are not incorporated in the minutes (a bad thing.) Unless or until someone requests a copy of the Extension Report and publishes it, there is no indication whether/if the project you are interested in has filed for an extension and what their new timeline is.
#2 – Now here’s some good news. Mr. Tenges reported the draft budget does NOT include a tax increase for 2009, the tax rate for LNT will remain 4.15 mils. The overall budget purportedly has a net increase of $42,500. Reflected in the budget is an increase of approximately $50K for the Colonial Regional Police contract (mostly wages & benefits) and a tentative budget increase of 4% for the Nazareth Area Library as well as an increase of ~$30K for the Fire Department. Mr. Tenges claimed reductions in other areas of the budget allow the Township to maintain basically a flat budget. A copy of the budget has been requested and will be posted when obtained. The draft budget will be advertised and it is anticipated the Board will vote on it at the first meeting in December (12/03/08 @ 7:30pm). Tim noted that the 2009 budget also makes provision for an additional person in the Road Department when he’s ready to fill it. (Don’t know, and didn’t ask if this is the Roadmaster position at + $60k per year. Will look for it in the budget.)
#3 – Procedural issue. Hmm, now that I am looking at the 11/05/08 agenda, I’m not sure if LNT is advertising FOR a CPA to do the audit (a bid) or advertising that they are going to use one. If the latter, how will they be selected?
#3 – Here’s the bit: PA Code for 2nd Class Townships require the Twp advertise if they are using a CPA in lieu of the Elected Board of Auditors. LNT has been using a CPA for years and makes the appointment at the annual reorganization meeting which is open to the public.
Okay, now I’m getting on my soapbox. Let me preface this note with the comment I believe spending $12,178.00 for a wide format printer/copier/scanner is a good idea. But here’s the irony in Tim’s request and logic.
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