Twp. Holds Expenses Down For 2017 Budget
SHOHOLA — Supervisors presented their Preliminary 2017 Shohola Township Budget, one proposing a zero-percent tax increase.
Supervisor Chairman George C. Fluhr announced the budget at last week’s regular township meeting held at the township building on Twin Lakes Road.
Supervisors Fluhr, Greg Hoeper, and Keith Raser approved advertising the budget and posting it at the township building for public review and comment for the next 28 days. Supervisors plan to adopt the budget at the next regular meeting.
Fluhr explained that each supervisor met individually with Township Secretary/Treasurer Diana Blume to present budget priorities.
Last year at this time, supervisors faced extraordinary expenses, prompted by road repair necessitated by previously severe winters, and building repairs. To cover the anticipated expenses, supervisors raised taxes a half mill.
For the 2017 budget, supervisors and Blume did not have to face higher than anticipated expenditures. A mild winter helped mitigate road deterioration and resulting expenses. Blume said that she developed a balanced budget, while keeping supervisors’ desire to have no tax increase, place road upkeep as the top priority, and have a lower total budget than the previous year.
After digesting individual supervisor budget suggestions, she developed a preliminary budget reflecting those priorities. She then met with them as a group to fine-tune the details... for complete story, get this week's issue.
Go 24 Addition Needs Lock Box, Fire Hydrant
WESTFALL —In his monthly report to supervisors, Township Fire Dept. Chief Rob Llewellyn, expressed concerns about inspection and safety related to commercial buildings.
Llewellyn spoke at this month’s regular township meeting held at the township building on Delaware Drive.
Llewellyn said that the Knox Box and fire hydrant are required under the applicant’s Land Development plan. Both must be installed at the new addition at Go 24 (gas station/convenience store). Neither has yet been installed. The department is also awaiting the township inspections and regulatory process to be completed.
The Knox Box is a key repository that allows department chiefs to access a building 24/7 in three scenarios, when a fire alarm goes off, when a fire is being investigated, or when a fire incident is occurring. The key allows firefighters to enter the building without breaking a window, a door, or cutting through a chain for lifesaving or firefighting purposes.
The Knox Box is installed in all commercial businesses or places, such as gas stations, where hazardous materials are on site.
Meanwhile, Township Zoning Enforcement Officer Wayne Rohner reported that he sent a letter notifying the Go 24 owners to schedule a final inspection, but the owners apparently are not ready to have the inspection. He said if he does not get an inspection request soon, he would issue a violation notice.
Supervisor Jerry Dotey said that apparently the Go 24’s new addition is already in use. He questioned how the building is being used without a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) and other permits.
Rohner noted that Go 24 was a pre-existing business that operated before Rohner came on board as a zoning officer earlier this year. The borough outsources commercial inspections to BIU, which issued a building permit. Rohner would issue a zoning permit.
Township Solicitor Robert Bernathy asked Llewellyn what would happen if a fire broke out in the new addition. Llewellyn said, “We can break down the doors and use the nearest hydrant, which is 400 feet away.”
Llewellyn said that BIU issues COs without consulting with the fire department. He noted that the senior center would need a CO. The facility still has not met department concerns, but the alterations and permitting process are ongoing.
Supervisor Chairman Bob Melvin suggested that the township notify BIU that before it issues further COs, it must consult with the fire department. Melvin said, “We can’t have seniors without adequate fire protection... for complete story, get this week's issue.