BY KEN BRANDT Correspondent The 2014 budget for West Donegal Township does not include a real estate tax increase. During their meeting Dec. 23 , supervisors approved a $2.87 million spending plan for next year that keeps the real estate tax rate at 1.6 mills. At that level, the owner of a property assessed at $100,000 pays $160 . The last real estate tax increase in West Donegal Township was in 2010. The budget calls for revenues of $2.98 million and expenses of $2.87 million . The largest expense is $1.15 million for police protection. The township will begin 2014 with a balance of $406,773 and expects to end the year with a balance of $116,243 . Supervisor Chairman Roger Snyder has said a budget without a tax increase is possible because the township is living within its means. The budget does not include any raises for staff but does have $53,000 for a new staff person who will assist manager Gene Oldham and zoning officer Wayne Miller . The budget includes contributions of $80,000 to Greater Elizabethtown Area Recreation & Community Services; $30,000 to the Elizabethtown Public Library ; $75,000 to Rheems Fire Department ; and $41,000 to Elizabethtown Friendship Fire Company . The township anticipates road resurfacing and improvements costing about $195,000 , which will be paid for out of its share of the state gasoline tax. Also, a payment of $74,000 is anticipated from Masonic Villages in lieu of taxes. At another meeting earlier in December, Nancy Garber was honored for her 16 years of service as a West Donegal supervisor. Snyder presented Garber with a plaque on behalf of the township, and the board thanked Garber for her service. Replacing her on the board is Doug Hottenstein , who won election in November, when Snyder was also re-elected to a new term. Garber said her greatest accomplishments were those in which she served the needs of township residents. In other business in December, the board: Awarded a $23,849 contract to Shirk Building Co. , of East Earl , to erect a 40-by-60-foot pole building. Seven bids were submitted. Set dates for supervisor meetings as the second Monday of each month, and workshop meetings as the fourth Monday, except in May, which will be Tuesday May 27 . The zoning hearing board will meet on the first Monday of each month beginning in February.
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