After years in a “precarious financial position,” Bristol Township Manager Bill McCauley wrote in a memo that the township has “made incredible progress” toward fixing the municipalities’s budget woes.
The $55,214,380 proposed 2013 budget features no tax increases and remained balanced without having to dip into reserve accounts like Middletown officials are suggesting. The millage rate of 23.987 will remain.
While the township has improved its financial condition over the past few months, McCauley said $85 million in unfunded liabilities exist. The manager stated that unless municipal unions are willing to cooperate with collective bargaining agreement more layoffs or hour reductions could be possible.
In the past year, several township employees have been laid off or had hours cut as part of budget restructuring.
"...I have been called the Director of Doom, Messenger of the Financial Disaster, and a few other honorary titles due to my calling of the Township's precarious financial position," McCauley wrote. He added later that despite cuts, the township has been able to provide the same level of service to residents.
The manager called for the township to borrow $6 million from the Delaware Valley Regional Finance Authority. The money would be broken up between paving highways and fixing the municipal complex with the majority of funds going to roads. McCauley said the move would be wise because of the low bond interest rates.
If the proposed budget is approved, $200,000 will go toward “blight removal.” The money will go toward identifying and removing abandoned dwelling scattered throughout the township, McCauley said. Funds from the sale of the empty lots are expected to recoup the $200,000.
McCauley wrote in the budget proposal that the township “significantly better off financially than we were one year ago.”
A final budget will be voted on at the Dec. 20 council meeting.