Patton Township supervisors adopt budget with no tax increase

The Patton Township Board of Supervisors adopted the 2017 budget at its meeting Wednesday night. Residents will not see a tax increase in the new year.

The budgeted revenue for the township next year is $15.7 million, while the expected expenditures are $16.3 million.

The township will draw down the cash reserves to cover the difference, township Manager Doug Erickson said.

The township’s contribution to the Centre Region Council of Governments will be almost $1.4 million.

The board also adopted the 2017-2021 Capital Improvement Plan.

Prior to the budget adoption, the board heard an update from Kevin Abbey, ClearWater Conservancy’s land conservation manager, about the Slab Cabin Run Initiative.

The initiative is a proactive source water protection strategy. ClearWater is looking to permanently conserve a little more than 300 acres of agricultural land, as previously reported.

Abbey had attended the board’s Nov. 2 meeting to introduce the project and request $125,000 in funding from Patton Township.

On Wednesday, Supervisor Dan Treviño said he’s in favor of the project but concerned about the amount of money Patton Township is being asked to contribute.

Supervisor George Downsbrough asked why Patton Township is being asked to contribute more than State College borough, which is being asked for $100,000.

Abbey said ClearWater’s consideration for how much to request from each municipality was based on several factors: proximity to the project; number of township residents served by the State College Borough Water Authority; previous investments in source water protection work, such as the Musser Gap partnership; support from residents; and the community’s ability to pay.

The Musser Gap experience was a little different because that property is accessible to the public, Jeff Luck, board vice chairman, said.

Taxes shouldn’t be raised to fund the initiative, Treviño said.

The board decided against taking any action Wednesday but will consider making a contribution to ClearWater’s initiative sometime in 2017.

Sarah Rafacz: 814-231-4619, @SarahRafacz