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In Springfield, taxes steady, a boost for employees

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Springfield residents – and township employees – received good tidings last week.

Supervisors unanimously endorsed the 2019 budget, which keeps taxes steady, and also approved a 1 percent bonus for uniformed as well as non-uniformed township staff, mainly for keeping expenses down. Budget figures showed an $80,000 shortfall, which was covered by using money from the fund balance.

Residents will continue to pay 12 mills in taxes, so a person with a property assessed at $50,000 would pay $600 in taxes. The total county and township real estate bill comes to $1,822.50, but that is as long as the county doesn’t do an increase this year, according to the township tax collector.

Board members also discussed how best to follow historic building regulations, which classify any township property over 50 years old as historic and give the Historic Commission the authority to review any changes and make recommendations to the zoning officer. Current estimates put 25 percent of township properties on the historic resources list, which is supposed to updated every 10 years.

Supervisor Chairman Dave Long said that forcing residents who lacked the means to upgrade their properties to meet township and state requirements was not the way forward.

“I don’t want to tell people to rebuild. They may not have the money,” agreed Supervisor Robert Zisko, who recommended eliminating much of the regulations. “Leave it up to individual homeowner. If you have the bucks, fix it up the way you want to,” he continued.

Long said he envisioned the historic commission in a proactive role, pointing out available resources to township property owners and helping them apply for grants. Supervisor James Nilsen concurred. “To foster that would be a much better thing.”

Township Manager Mike Brown observed that supervisors needed to be proactive and be specific with what regulations they wanted removed. Brown said he would work with the commission to outline its precise tasks and duties. “We’ll do that while you’re thinking about the regulatory side.”


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