Cranberry Township’s 2020 budget aims to maintain existing infrastructure while keeping an eye on future growth.
The Township’s General Fund is expected to generate $22.5 million in revenue in 2020, down about $3 million from 2019. However, that amount still allows Township officials to address changing public service and capital improvement needs without a tax increase.
Township officials have their sights set on refinancing a series of bonds featuring a 2020 call date. Projections show a significant savings will come with that refinancing, allowing for more money to go toward capital projects.
Among those capital projects is the MSA Thruway tunnel beneath Route 228 which is set to begin in earnest in the spring. Other projects include renovations and expansion at the Cranberry Park Amphitheater, as well as stormwater upgrades in the Sun Valley neighborhood and engineering work for a similar project in the Fox Run system.
A large portion of budget is focused on maintaining more than 125 miles of roadway, a 187-mile water distribution network and 198 miles of sanitary sewer collector and interceptor lines. This includes a focus on replacing aging lines near Route 19.
At the Township Municipal Center, a Master Plan for exterior grounds and parking will look to tie the building to the Meeder community being constructed across Rochester Road. That includes a focus on better pedestrian access as well as a “great lawn” gathering space in front of the building.
Inside the building, the Administration area will see upgrades that promote collaboration among staff. Cyber security will also be increased to better protect information.
Internal programs and communication will also be reviewed to ensure the Township can continue to attract the best and brightest employees to address residents’ needs. This includes the addition of a community liaison position within the Communications Department.
Elsewhere, a new Parks/Grounds position will be created in Division of Public Works to focus on maintaining Park facilities. Officials noted the Parks hosted nearly 2 million visitors and program participants in 2019.
The budget also addresses increased demands on public safety, including a new multi-year agreement with the Cranberry Township Volunteer Fire Company. That includes “right sizing” the department’s fleet, with two new fire trucks in 2019 and a new ladder truck in 2020 replacing four outdated models.
A new position will be added to the Police Department, increasing the number of officers to 33. New initiatives and training will also be added.
The Budget was presented to the Board of Supervisors at the November 21 meeting, with consideration for adoption set for December 12.
“The Budget provides for a responsible fiscal approach to address the changing public service and capital investment needs of the Township,” said Township Manager Jerry Andree. “This fiscally sound Budget will provide an excellent start to the decade of the 2020s.”