Upper Makefield’s 2018 budget will not increase taxes on residents, according to the preliminary spending plan.
The $10.3 million spending plan will help the township pay down its debt while also investing in its future.
The average homeowner in the township will pay 7.6025 mills, which comes to about $500 a year. The average assessed property in the township is valued at $65,000.
Interim Township Manager David Nyman said Upper Makefield is expected to come in about $300,000 less than expected in 2017.
The budget, as it is proposed now, will move non-union staff to the same health care plan as the police department, fund upgrades to the Heritage Hills water system and storage tanks, $200,000 to road resurfacing, invests $65,000 in maintaining current roads, adds three benches to both Brownsburg Park and Lookout Park for $3,100 and puts $34,000 toward a trail project at Lookout Park. The trail program payment is only 25 percent of the total cost with the balance being funded by county open space money.
In 2018, the police department of 28 full-time officers and three part-time officers will add an additional officer. The department will also purchase two police vehicles for $100,000, install a $15,000 radio antenna and add two electronic speed signs for $9,000.
Public works is looking to purchase a 10-ton dump truck for $140,000, replace an 11-year-old dump truck for $78,000, add a $25,000 pickup truck, buy a $10,000 trailer and upgrade garage lighting for $6,800.
The township’s existing debt, according to Nyman, will be paid off in the next few years. The debt includes money borrowed for construction of the current police station.
As in past years, the township will keep a quarter of its budget value in funds.
Upper Makefield expects to earn about $4 million from its earned income tax.
“We are living within our means while working to provide services at levels expected by our residents,” Nyman said.
The township’s preliminary budget for 2018 will be voted on by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, December 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the municipal building on Eagle Road.