In a unanimous vote, the Board of Supervisors approved the 2015 township budget Wednesday.
No tax rate increases are included, according to the budget. Revenues are in the amount of $14.2 million with $14.8 million in expenses. An estimated $593,522 will be used to balance the budget, leaving about $1.7 million in the cash fund.
The 2015-19 Capital Improvement Plan was also adopted in the same vote.
According to Wednesday’s agenda, approval of the township budget incorporates approval of the 2015 Centre Region Council of Governments budget as well.
Supervisor Walt Wise raised the issue of township contributions, particularly the yearly donation made to Centre HomeCare. He cited a letter to the editor in Tuesday’s CDT in which the writer, who described herself as a Patton Township resident, said she was “aghast to hear the township supervisors approve a donation of money to a local nonprofit.”
According to finance Director Kim Wyatt, the township makes an annual contribution of $1,800 to the hospice and home care provider. Wise suggested in the future, the board members think about why they are making contributions, which he said he doesn’t think “is in our mission.”
Township Manager Doug Erickson said the township has been contributing to Centre HomeCare for at least 20 years. He said the township also contributes to several other local organizations and events, like Central PA 4th Fest, First Night and Arts Fest, the latter of which the township provides no cash donation but does provide a police presence.
The board had previously discussed the township involvement with Centre HomeCare in November, Erickson said.
“The last thing we talked about was we were going to keep it in the budget, but we would have future discussion on it,” he said. “We can invite Centre HomeCare in and they can make their case for it if they want to.”
According to Chairman Elliot Abrams, the board can continue to donate to Centre HomeCare, donate to a different organization or not donate at all.
In other business, the board set a public hearing for the Nittany Valley Sports Centre to be located at the intersection of Bernel and Fox Hill roads.
According to Mark Torretti, of PennTerra Engineering, the total plan includes several phases. The first phase of construction, which is slated to begin next fall, will see the primary facility his client wants for the property. This includes an indoor sports facility with fields and a gymnastics school, and room for concessions and office spaces.
More than 300 parking spaces will accompany the facility, he said, with rain gardens and a basin for stormwater management.
Future phases include expansion of the indoor facility, additional parking, multipurpose sports fields, a hotel and a private secondary school, he said. There is no scheduled timeline for these expansions.
A traffic study for the first phase of construction is underway and expected to be completed by February, he said.
The public hearing is slated for Jan. 28.