Plainfield Twp. faces gaping hole in upcoming budget

Officials have been told not to count landfill fees as revenue

Posted: 11:51 PM EDT Sep 26, 2013   Updated: 3:21 PM EDT Sep 27, 2013

Township supervisors will have their hands full trying to fill an estimated $350,000 hole in next year’s budget because state officials have said the township should not put fees from the Grand Central Landfill into its general fund budget.

The fees in questions are about $350,000, or about two mills worth of lost revenue to the township’s  budget.

Those particular fees, a $1 a ton assessment that goes to the township, have been dumped into the general fund account to run the township for as long as anyone can remember.

“It’s always been done that way,” said Virginia Kochler, the township’s treasurer.

But that doesn’t make it right, according to advice the township has received from the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors.

Putting that money into the general fund has had its rewards for the township, Kochler said.

“That’s why the real estate tax is so low,” she said, at a township meeting Thursday night.

Though it’s too early to say what actions the supervisors may take, if they had to balance the budget by raising taxes, then the millage rate would jump almost two mills, Kochler said. “The landfill fees are to be used for emergencies and future needs.”

Budget workshops are scheduled Oct. 17 and 24, and Nov. 14 and 21.

Among the many variables the supervisors will be dealing with is the move to regionalize the township’s police force, which could happen sometime next year.

Supervisor Steve Hurni gave a brief update on the push to regionalize the police departments that cover Bangor, Pen Argyl and Wind Gap and Plainfield and Washington townships.

Hurni said there was a “pretty good certainty that this is going to happen.”

Plainfield Twp. faces gaping hole in upcoming budget

 Hurni said it was too early to estimate how much money the move may save the township.