Whether it be a business, resident or non-profit, everyone has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cranberry Township is not immune, as tax income in 2021 is expected to be about $1 million less than 2020.
However, through a series of moves and years of prudent spending, the Township will keep current tax rates, provide high quality services and programs, and undertake infrastructure projects that improve the community.
The Board of Supervisors reviewed the proposed budget November 19.
The decrease in income is expected to come from business, local service and earned income taxes, all of which are down due to the pandemic.
The goal of the budget is to not use Fund Balances to cover operating expenses, according to Township Manager Jerry Andree. To help cover the gap, the Township will take a number of steps, including not filling vacant positions in the coming year.
Doing so will also allow current and planned capital projects to proceed. That includes renovations at the Rotary Amphitheater in Community Park, as well as the completion of the MSA Thruway.
Additionally, planned widening on Freshcorn Road is still on the docket, as are stormwater upgrades in Sun Valley.
Also planned are upgrades to the Municipal Center front lawn area near Rochester Road that will tie the Municipal Center into the new enhanced signalized intersection with the Meeder development. This project remains a priority and is in the design phase. Officials are also looking at ways to expand the parking areas at the Municipal Center, which is part of the Municipal Center Master Plan.
Elsewhere, the first phase of expansion on Freedom Road is expected to break ground in 2021 as a result of the Township’s supporting role in advancing the design plans through federal approval. These improvements will occur from Commonwealth Drive to Haine School Road and a continuation of he soon-to-be completed Freedom Road Turnpike Bridge Upgrade. Work is being partially funded by a federal Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grant.
Andree also noted the Board of Supervisors never permits critical infrastructure improvements to be “kicked down the road,” and have made sure the annual road resurfacing program, as well as other sewer and water capital improvements, remain fully funded.
The Board approved tentative adoption of the proposed budget, with final adoption anticipated at the Thursday, December 10 meeting.