Lehigh Valley

Salisbury Twp. sees changing of guard, hike in taxes

Rising expenses cited as causing increase

SALISBURY TWP., Pa. - After 14 years of service, Jim Brown officiated over his last Salisbury Township commissioners meeting and received a standing ovation from all in attendance Thursday night.

Brown, chairman of the commissioners, a retired outside sales representative and twice a grandfather, was appointed to his first two years of service in 2004 and 2005, and thereafter re-elected to three more terms on the board.

He remarked that he supports term limits for all government officials.

Brown also commented how increasingly expensive it is on a daily basis to keep a municipality such as Salisbury Township running efficiently due to the rising costs of nearly everything.

Accordingly the commissioners voted unanimously in favor of raising property taxes next year by 11.4 percent, providing Salisbury with an additional $279,000 to pay approximately $75,000 for another police officer, a nearly 3 percent pay hikes for all employees, and a surplus cushion.

In addition, the commissioners voted unanimously to increase the water consumption rate from $6.05 to $6.30 cents per 1,000 gallons used. Township officials claim this 4.1 per cent increase imposed by the Lehigh County Authority will not be realized until first-quarter water bills are issued in April.

According to township budget documents, unfunded federal mandates requiring the development of a pollution reduction plan (PRP) will cost the township $70,000, and the costs related to the PRP will continue beyond 2018.

Brown will be replaced by retired chemist Rodney Conn, who ran unopposed in the last election. Conn previously served as vice chair of the zoning hearing board for five years and on the environmental advisory council for three years.

Conn and his wife Sarabel have lived in the township for the past 18 years. 

In other business, following an executive session of the board on personnel matters, Township Manager Cathy Bonaskiewich announced that Salisbury Police officer Bryan Losagio submitted his resignation as corporal and requested to resume his patrolman's position.

Chief of Police Allen Stiles refused to comment on the matter; however, he said Losagio had been serving as corporal since January of this year.

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