Except for some comments, Concord Township’s budget hearing Tuesday night was a virtual repeat of last year’s hearing. The millage rates are almost identical with no tax increases planned.
Anticipated revenue and expenditures for the 2024 budget are $4.18 million, with a general fund millage rate at 0.206. Additionally, there are 0.064 mils for the library fund, 0.061 for fire hydrants, and 0.044 for fire protection services. There’s also a 0.139 millage rate for open space, for a total township milage of 0.514 mils. (A mil is a tax of $1 for every $1,000 of assessed property value.)
During the Nov. 14 discussion of the proposed budget, Council President Dominic Pileggi expressed pleasure and pride in the fact that Concord has one of the lowest tax rates in Delaware County, and Township Manager Amanda Serock said that Concord’s Home Rule Charter limits property tax increases to 5 percent of the previous year’s tax rate. That, however, was later contested by resident Joshua Twersky.
Twersky, in addition to being a former member of Concord Township Council, was a member of the Government Study Commission that wrote the charter. He said the charter does allow for increases beyond 5 percent if approved by a supermajority, which means five of the seven members of the council. The exact wording of the property tax limits may be found here on page 13.
There were also comments from members of the Concordville Fire and Protective Assn. As reported last month, the fire company is hurting for funds and wants two times the contributions it currently gets from the municipalities it serves. The proposed budget under consideration does not double what Concord currently gives to the company.
Lee Weersing, the fire company’s president, said the company currently has a surplus of funds and has no outstanding debt, but that surplus won’t last without an influx of revenue. He added that he’s looked at other means of generating money for Concordville, such as grants for staffing, but those grants must be paid back if the company can’t retain people. The fire company has also spoken with insurance companies about paying for its services and has tried soliciting money from corporations and nonprofit entities, but with little to no financial improvement.
“We’ve all been here before, and we all know where we’re coming from. We appreciate the help but we need to twist some things around before it becomes a crisis,” he said.
Council is expected to vote on the budget during its Dec. 5 meeting. Some of the numbers may change by then.