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Liberty Township reduces septic fee

(12/21) During the December 5 Board of Supervisors meeting, the Supervisors unanimously voted to lower the $35 septic fee to $10. The $35 fee has been in effect since 2010, but Supervisor Bob Jackson admitted that it has been too high for several years. In fact, Liberty Townshipís septic fee has been the highest in Adams County, ranging from $15 - $25 more than surrounding municipalities.

When asked where the excess money has been going, the Supervisorís stated that it has been allocated into the General Fund. Some residents asked if they could be reimbursed the money they were overcharged for the past few years, but no answer was given. Other residents stated they were comfortable with the "excess" money they paid being placed in the General Fund. The $10 fee will become effective next septic cycle, which will occur in 2019.

In other township news, Liberty Township Supervisors voted on an ordinance to form a Citizenís Advisory Committee during the December 5 Board of Supervisors meeting. The vote originally tied during the November 14 meeting, due to the absence of Supervisor John Bostek, and was brought back to be voted upon again. The Committee would consist of three to five residents who would be responsible for reviewing and researching fees in the township, deliberating, and providing an objective recommendation for the Supervisors to vote upon.

The concept of forming a Citizenís Advisory Committee received some backlash during the meeting, as resident Cindy Arentz questioned the necessity of forming this group. Arentz stated that the "group as a whole can provide feedback, so why elect a small group of people to do your job and disregard the opinion of the community as a whole?" As noted by Jackson, the group would simply provide a recommendation, which would be brought to the Supervisorís monthly meetings, to be further discussed and presented to the rest of the community, before taking a vote.

The motion was carried two to one with Supervisor Walter Barlow against. The township is currently accepting applications for interested persons to become members of the Citizenís Advisory Committee.

During the same meeting, Liberty Township also adopted their 2018 budget, much to the dismay of some residents. The budget includes a $37,120 capital purchase fund for a new police cruiser and wages based upon full time compensation. Many residents question the necessity for full time employees, when the township could save upwards of $115,000 if hours were cut back to part time status across the different departments. The township ran smoothly with part time employees many years ago, why couldnít it do so now? Residents also question the necessity for a new police cruiser when all three vehicles in the fleet work fine. Supervisors chose to pass the 2018 budget as presented.

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