Figuring in additional expenses related to a new contract for the Horsham Township Police is the last hurdle to finalizing the municipality’s roughly $13.5 million spending plan, an official said.
The police department’s contract expired in December 2010 and officials, unable to come to a resolution, sought out arbitration. A hearing was held in June and Horsham Township Manager Bill Walker said the township is waiting on a written decision, which will be binding.
“It can take some time. Upper Moreland had a hearing in February and a got a decision on Nov. 14,” Walker said. “I’m hoping we get it before we have to approve the budget in case we have to make adjustments.”
The township council is slated to consider adoption of the budget – which holds the line on municipal taxes – on Dec. 14. Even without final calculations for the police department, Walker said the township would maintain the current 1 mill tax rate. At that rate, the owner of a home assessed at the township average of $178,128 would pay $178.13 in real estate taxes.
“We try to do our best guess estimate,” Walker said. If necessary, he said funds could be transferred from the capital reserve fund.
Despite the unknown costs associated with the police contract and in light of the economy, Walker said Horsham would continue with various projects in 2012, including road paving and improvements to its parks and trail. The township is also able to carry a fund balance forward and replenish its capital improvement fund, he said.
“That fund is the fund that really keeps our quality of life in Horsham,” Walker said. “A lot of communities are not, unfortunately, in our same situation.”