Financial security questioned in Upper Macungie Township

Posted: 11:58 PM EDT Oct 03, 2013

The Upper Macungie Township Supervisors are setting the record straight on the municipality’s financial security.

A recent township newsletter called Upper Macungie Township’s position “financially strong” and said that the township has zero debt.

“According to UMT’s own Treasury Reports, our Township is financially prepared to sustain its growth and quality-of-life standards well into the future,” the newsletter said.

Secretary Kathy Rader took time during the Supervisors’ meeting Thursday night to point out that the listed financial statements in the newsletter did not adequately portray the township’s financial situation.

“We have zero debt because we took money out of our Capital Reserve Investment Fund with the idea that we would pay ourselves back,” Rader said. “To date, we haven’t gotten another nickel back in that account.”

Funds taken from this account have supported things like a growing population in the township, a remodeling project of the police station, new fire trucks and the preservation of Lone Lane Park, according to Supervisor Samir Ashmar.

“We have been very proactive to stay with the times so we do not have the kinds of problems that some municipalities have had,” Ashmar had.

Some residents present at the meeting still felt that the township had not been financially wise and lamented the increased taxes over the past several years. Rader agreed that taxes have gone up, especially since the creation of a Local Services Tax.

Rader went on to note that she felt very concerned that the township could not afford its almost $1.5 million bills monthly and that she would feel much more comfortable if the township were able to have two months’ worth of bills in savings.

Since the Supervisors had found it necessary to spend more money to accommodate a growing population, another resident present at the meeting suggested that more supervisors be added to the council to adequately represent the local citizens. The Supervisors agreed and voted to put it on the ballot for the residents to decide.