Township Council Wraps Up 2022 Budget Hearings

A $2 million decrease in water utility collections may lead to a rate increase during the year, the Township Council was told on March 15.

Township auditor Andrew Hodulik told the Council during its second budget hearing that the utility’s fund balance decreased from $10 million to $8 million over the last year.

“You’re probably going to look at a water rate increase at some point during the year,” he said, adding that there might be an uptick in water utility collections now that a moratorium on charging interest on overdue balances has been lifted.

Hodulik said the township “had a good year” with tax collections, adding that the amount to be raised by taxes theoretically could be raised by the 2 percent cap “without impacting anybody with a tax increase.”

Council members were presented with proposed operating budgets from a number of township departments, from the Fire Prevention department to the Township Manager’s office during the session.

Most budgets have remained flat from the prior year, with increases generated by outside costs.

The township’s medical insurance budget increased by $400,000 over the last year, Township Manager Robert Vornlocker said. He said that was because the township switched carriers from Horizon to Aetna after it was facing a $900,000 increase from Horizon.

The Historic Preservation Advisory Committee is asking for $15,000 to pay for its portion of a state matching grant program for which it has applied. The grant would fund material to help prospective applicants to the Committee navigate the hearing process.

The increases in other departments were modest, such as purchasing which had to ask for another $10,000 due to increases in the cost of paper and the impending postage rate increase.

The township’s liability insurance premium increased $39,000, part of an increase shared by all members of the Joint Insurance Fund to which the township belongs.

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