By Konstantine Fekos
VERNON TOWNSHIP —
Vernon Township supervisors summarized the 2012 fiscal year with one phrase, “Wow, what a great year.” Residents would agree, as taxes will not rise in the township’s new annual budget approved Thursday night.
The 2013 budget of $1,357,000 passed supervisor approval amidst high praises and excitement for the township’s bright future, as predicted by township Manager David Stone, who presented this year’s financial review at the supervisors’ regular meeting Thursday night.
“Vernon Township, in 2012, reduced expenses while not only maintaining services but also building an infrastructure that will last for years,” he said, praising the township’s austerity program and new earned income tax collection for enhancing revenues.
The 2013 financial plan calls for no tax or fee increases, keeping the township’s current tax rate of 2 mills. The real estate taxes on a property with a median assessed value of $24,000 will stay at $48, Stone confirmed after the meeting.
“By evaluating every expense and revenue line item, the township has turned the corner on deficit spending and is now in a position to increase it’s reserve account,” said Stone. “The township work force is dedicated and committed to providing outstanding service while keeping cost under control.”
Supervisors also expressed their continual excitement for major upcoming developments, including Meadville Medical Center’s Vernon Place, expected to relocate and enhance outpatient services to the former Meadville Mall property on Route 322, and the Crawford Business Park expansion projects developed by the Economic Progress Alliance and Acutec Precision Machining Inc. to promote financial growth and job creation.
“It’s really something to watch the township grow like this,” said Bob Davis, supervisor chairman, who believes the new developments will eventually translate into improved financial security for local residents. “It’s a real complement to the area. The quality of life around here is going to be better.”