Given that the Springfield Board of Commissioners projected a "perfect storm" budget, one resident said township taxpayers didn't make out too bad.
Although resident Regina Shearer wished the budget saw a slighter increase, in comparison to similar, nearby municipalities, she called the Springfield budget "fiscally responsible" and commended the commissioners.
"We came in less than in , and we came in less than Haverford," Shearer said at the Tuesday meeting. "I wanted to thank you on your hard work on that."
The Springfield Commissioners introduced a preliminary budget Nov. 27, announcing a 2.8 percent property tax increase, which amounts to a $22 hike for the average household assessed at $150,000. The budget itself increased 3.6 percent, so the township also plans to raise the trash collection rate—from $200 to $215—and sewer fees, from $4.25 to $5.25 per 1,000 gallons of water consumed.
In her research, Shearer said other towns also saw an increase in trash and sewer fees. Commissioners President Jeff Rudolph previously said Delaware County raised those rates.
On Tuesday, the board answered questions raised about the 2012-13 budget, which still needs to be officially adopted.
"Personally, I'm thinking a day may come when we'll have to go to... once a week trash pickup," Shearer said.
Rudolph said that suggestion has been considered in the past, but two reasons have discouraged them to do so.
"We are at the point where we are pretty lean (in that department). If we go down to once a week... it will impact snow removal. If people are willing to wait 18 hours to have the streets plowed, which I don't think they are—that becomes a big issue," Rudolph said.
Additionally, he said the actual economic savings is "marginal," as recycling still needs to be picked up. That coupled with the snow issue doesn't make it worthwhile, he said.
Ray Wilfong, a resident who submitted questions in writing due in lieu of appearing, similarly approved of the budget but challenged the township to adopt a 1.5 percent budget increase. He encouraged the township to check all line items again (Rudolph responded that the commissioners "quadruple checked all items.") and also review new businesses to make sure they are properly paying taxes.
"These are difficult economic times for all residents, and residents will need to tap into funds to pay for any increases in taxes, especially senior citizens," he said.
The commissioners must approve the budget by year's end.