Springfield Township is reasonably confident it can survive the pummeling the economy is taking from the pandemic.
Township Manager Jason Wager summarized the bullish mood at the April 28 virtual meeting by saying, “Cashwise we’re in a pretty good position moving through this.” Wager noted that 75 percent of the township’s real estate budget was in. “Ideally we want to be in that range.” He added that Covid-19 costs had not been significant and made no mention of employee layoffs or hiring freezes.
Supervisor Chairman Jim Nilsen also felt sure the community would fare a little better than others because of the number of residents who were self-employed and its agricultural base, but he called on the public to help others. “If you have the ability to support someone in the community whether it’s a contractor, a local store, or local farm stand, that’s going to make a difference in the end.”
Still, with so much uncertainty and a likely decrease in revenues, Wager and Nilsen urged caution on upcoming expenditures. Nilsen noted that liquid fuels would take a hit and said the jury was still out on earned income tax revenues. Wager asked board members if they wished to delay budgeted items: a $50,000 salt storage shed and $40,000 for replacement fuel tanks.
After Roadmaster Richard W. Pursell pointed out the decrepit state of the tanks, Nilsen said he was inclined to move forward. Pursell also said part of the salt shed construction could be done “in-house” to reduce the cost.
The township will proceed with a $14,000 renovation of the exterior of the township building, a $10,000 Internet connection project, and replacement doors for the police department.
Supervisors also agreed to extend the real estate tax deadline to July 30 to mirror the county date.
In another matter, board member Jim Hopkins paid tribute to longtime township resident Ken Simmons, who died in February at 94. A dedicated volunteer, Simmons helped prevent the sale of the Springtown Water Authority, and will be honored with a bench at Peppermint Park.