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Lower Macungie Passes 2013 Budget

In a unanimous vote, the Lower Macungie Township Board of Commissioners passed its 2013 budget with no increases passed on to the residents. Sewer rates, however are going up.

The Lower Macungie Township Board of Commissioners on Thursday unanimously passed its 2013 budget.

The $18.129 million financial plan, according to Commissioner Ryan Conrad, "is balanced, pays down the township's debt and improves the quality of life of our residents."

It also provides for the hiring of two township workers -- one for the parks and recreation department and the other for the community center.

There is no increase in earned income tax rates, which, according to Township Manager Bruce Fosselman, "is what makes the township go."

"We probably will not have to use [any money from] the general fund again this year," Fosselman said, noting that it has been more than 10 years since that fund has been used to cover unplanned expenses.

The BOC, however, also voted unanimously to raise sewer rates for 2013, the reason for which Fosselman cited as "unfunded mandates" imposed by the Lehigh County Authority.

The rate increase comprises a quarterly flat fee of $47.50 and a flow rate of $1.20 per 1,000 gallons.

Families should expect to pay up to $25 more next year than they did in 2012, Fosselman said.

The final financial item the BOC voted on Thursday was the township's 2013 fee schedule. Many rates will stay the same, but a few will go up: the husband/wife pool pass rate will be $120, up from $100 and the playground program fee goes to $100 from $75. Other fee increases are detailed in Section K of the Dec. 20 meeting agenda.

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