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Kennedy budget shows money for road repairs, updated website, park

By Elizabeth Perry

Analysis of the 2023 Kennedy Township budget shows funding for some long-standing projects.

Township Manager Greg Clarke said the township is running on a $300,000 monthly budget, which translates to $3.6 million annually.

Revenues from taxes and fees are estimated at $4,314,640, revealing an economically conservative approach.

“It’s derived from good, prudent fiscal management,” Tax Collector and Treasurer Mel Weinstein said.

Capital Improvement

At the top of the general fund budget, there was an estimated cash balance carryover from 2022 of $7,236,000. Some of that came from taxes that had been in abeyance over the pandemic, some of it was grant money and remaining funds from the American Rescue Plan, said Clarke.

“It’s an accumulation of various funds, there’s money that has to be done for Aiken Road and there’s money for Clever Road,” Clarke said.

In the 2023 Budget, there is a line item called “Capital Improvement” for $6,197,040.

When asked what that line item would purchase, Clarke said the line designated “anticipatory funds.”

Weinstein said the money was held in reserve because tax collection is not uniform throughout the year.

Clarke said there were several projects within the city to which the capital improvement fund could be applied. Upkeep for the dam located on Pine Hollow Road was a concern as well as the 17 manholes for which $400,000 in American Rescue Funds had been allotted.

“We have to completely clean and modify that dam. That will be at least $300,000,” Clarke said.

The township also planned to purchase two dump trucks for $160,000 with the capital improvement fund, which were not itemized in the budget, and another truck for $50,000, Clarke said.

Weinstein said flooding issues on Clever Road also have to be addressed.

When asked if the fund would be used to fix Aiken Road Extension, which has been in a state of partial collapse for several years due to a landslide, Clarke said, “yes.”

“We’re trying to resolve that as safely as possible, we’re putting that out to bid,” Clarke said.

As previously reported, the township was awarded a $382,771 Multimodal Transportation Fund grant in April 2021 to fund the repairs. In March 2022, Weinstein said then he expected the project to cost double the funds, requiring the township to front money from the general fund account. Clarke said the hold-up was due to PennDOT-mandated geological studies.

On March 9, Weinstein said the Aiken Road Extension Restoration would cost about $1.5 million.

In a separate line item, $800,000 was designated for road repair and construction. In the 2023, Liquid Fuel Budget $54,00 was allocated to road maintenance, which Clarke said was separate from the Aiken Road Extension repairs. This budget had a carryover balance of $213,788 from the previous year. That sum, along with the 2023 state allocation of liquid fuel funds brought the total to $454,222.

Fairhaven Park/website

Officials plan to revamp the township website and gather data about updating Fairhaven Park.

Clarke said contracts were “in place” to redo the website, which had been a goal of his since he began working for the township last year, and residents should see the results of the revamp in about 10 weeks.

“The website is the portal into the township; it was not user-friendly, it was not mobile. We will have a wonderful website that will also give us an opportunity for news for the township. It will be completely renewed, Clarke said.

There is $30,000 allotted to the park for playground equipment in the 2023 budget.

Clarke said that money will be used to begin “refreshing” the park, with new fencing and possibly new play equipment, depending on how residents respond to the promised survey.

“There’s so many ways to go, to get a custom design and do everything,” Clarke said.

In December, Kennedy Township officials released a synopsis of the municipal budget. Initially, the sewer fund was included in the total budget numbers, something not seen with other reporting townships and boroughs.

That brings the budget down from $17,874,307 – seemingly the largest in Gazette 2.0’s coverage area – down to $11,550,640, which is more comparable to the way other municipalities presented data.



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