The Unity Township Supervisors on Thursday adopted a final 2020 budget that includes no increase in property taxes.
Township officials said there are no changes to the budget from last month, when supervisors adopted and advertised a tentative spending plan.
The $7.0-million budget shows an increase of $141,500 from last year’s budget. Supervisors chairman John Mylant said previously that the township may dedicate some funding next year to equipment needs, but nothing has been decided at this point.
The township’s real estate tax — which will stay at 2.2 mills — accounts for $630,000 in revenue in the projected budget, with earned income tax estimated to contribute more than $3.15 million.
Road and garage costs are the largest planned expenditure at more than $1.7 million. That includes $1 million in road and bridge maintenance, $180,000 for vehicle operating expenses and $150,000 for snow removal.
The state fund budget projects $886,554 in 2020 allocation and $446 in interest, while next year’s light fund budget estimates $35,000 in revenue.
The township’s 2-mill fire tax is estimated to generate $570,000 in 2020, according to budget figures. In 2017, supervisors approved a 1-mill increase to the fire tax to help fund the township’s eight volunteer fire departments.
The fire tax, which was established in 2004, costs the average township taxpayer $46 to $50 per year.
In other business, township engineer Dan Schmitt of Gibson-Thomas Engineering Co. Inc. said work on the township’s new public works garage could be completed around Christmas.
Also related to the public works garage, the supervisors approved these pay estimates: $143,526.35 to general contractor Walter Mucci Construction Co. Inc., $37,214.35 to R&B Mechanical, $21,512.14 to Bob Biter Electrical Enterprises Inc., $52,397.40 to Newman Plumbing and $35,072.20 to Mongiovi & Son.
Supervisors also approved a change order for a deduction of $2,000 to Mucci Construction for work to extend a 6-inch water line from Beatty County Road to the public works garage property to accommodate the building’s new sprinkler system, along with three change orders totaling $11,034 to R&B Mechanical and another change order of $1,200 to Mongiovi & Son.
The building project was briefly delayed following the collapse of 42 wooden roof trusses at the site this spring.
No one was hurt following the April 7-8 incident. Security cameras at the site, which were installed after the arson fire destroyed the original building, captured footage of the collapsing 80-foot trusses the evening of April 7. The remaining trusses came down the next day.
Work on the township’s new public works building began last December. The previous building was destroyed by a September 2017 arson. Anyone with information about the arson is asked to contact state police at 724-832-3288.
Also discussed at Thursday’s meeting:
- Christmas Tree-Cycling will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 2-31 at the township municipal building, 154 Beatty County Road. Township officials ask that residents remove all decorations, lights, tree skirts, bags and other items from trees before recycling. For more information, call Westmoreland Cleanways and Recycling at 724-879-4020;
- Mylant thanked outgoing supervisor Tom Ulishney for his six years of service to the township;
- Mylant recognized three retiring road department members: Joe Mangini (21 years of service), Chris Kondrick (18 years) and Tom Stas (17 years);
- Mylant said two recent holiday events organized by the township, the annual Deck the Tree with Unity event and a senior luncheon, were well received.
In other business, supervisors approved:
- A tentative five-year agreement with Local Union 204, with all terms retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020. After the union makes its vote, which is expected to happen soon, supervisors will consider a final agreement at their meeting next month. Nineteen township road crew workers and four township office staff members are part of the union;
- To accept 0.35 miles of Charles Houck Road into the township’s public road system. Township solicitor Gary Falatovich said the small stretch of road was abandoned by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) when the Route 981 roundabout was constructed and adjacent roads were realigned;
- A cooperation and pass-through agreement for state Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program (RACP) funding tied to St. Vincent College’s student life and hospitality project;
- A best management practices operations and maintenance agreement for stormwater-related improvements as part of a runway widening project at Arnold Palmer Regional Airport;
- A preliminary site plan for a three-phase expansion of the existing UMH Hillside Estates mobile home park near Pleasant Unity, which will add a total of 51 new lots;
- A final site plan for a dumpling baking and distribution business on a parcel along Route 981. A public hearing for a conditional use request related to the property is scheduled for 2 p.m. Dec. 23, at the township municipal building;
- A final site plan for construction of a two-story office building on an existing building pad owned by ECKL Holdings LLC along the south side of Frye Farm Road just east of Village Drive near The Inn at Mountain View;
- A final site plan for a parking lot and parking spaces on a property along Route 981 owned by LaCarrozza LP;
- To rezone 34.8 acres at 457 Frye Farm Road from R-1 (rural residential) and B-3 (regional commercial) to the township’s R-3 (rural village) zoning district.