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North Whitehall projects higher budget surplus, cash reserve for 2024

Olivia Marble
The North Whitehall Board of Supervisors in July 2024. From left to right: Supervisor Ronald Heintzelman, Chairman Al Geosits, Vice Chairman Dennis Klusartiz and Township Manager Randy Cope.

NORTH WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. — The township has more money in 2024 than anticipated.

North Whitehall Board of Supervisors on Monday reviewed a revised budget for 2024 that township staff made by assessing its current revenues and expenses.

The township now is projected to have a $1.6 million surplus by the end of the year, which would bring its total cash reserves to about $16 million.

Township Manager Randy Cope said township staff began doing the mid-year budget revision last year in an effort to “be transparent and fiscally responsible with our tax dollars.”

“I think it's been a very good practice for the township staff to look at the budget on a more regular basis to make adjustments where needed,” Cope said.

Cope said the process also makes it easier to create the next year’s budget.

Township staff are now making the 2025 budget. There will be a budget workshop open to the public in August, with the goal of presenting a draft to supervisors by October, Cope said.

Why is the surplus so large?

Meeting Room.png
MKSD Architects
A rendering of the proposed new meeting room at the North Whitehall Township Municipal Building.

The main difference between the original 2024 budget and the revised one is the immediate cost of the township building renovations.

The township originally planned to spend about $3.69 million on the renovations in 2024 and get about $3.61 in revenue from its bonds.

Now, the township plans to spend about $2.2 million while still getting $3.61 million in revenue.

Township Director of Finance Seth O’Neill said the original projection was off because the bids for the project didn’t come in until April, and the township had not worked with such bonds before.

O’Neill said the money the township had planned to draw from its reserves for the renovations likely will go to bridge renovations.

“We should be reinvesting that back into the community."
Township Director of Finance Seth O’Neill

Supervisors on Monday approved a contract with HRG Engineering to assess the township’s bridges and figure out which ones need maintenance and when it should be done.

But regardless of where, North Whitehall needs to find other places to spend its reserves, O’Neill said, because the township has more than its fund balance policy recommends.

“We should be reinvesting that back into the community,” O’Neill said.

Monday’s supervisors meeting was the first held in the Schnecksville Fire Company Banquet Hall, where they will be held until the township building renovations are completed — estimated to be toward the end of June 2025.

In the meantime, all township staff except the public works department will work at the temporary municipal office at 4110 Independence Drive Suite 100.

The phone numbers and mailing address will remain the same for township staff and the tax office, but the drop boxes have been moved to the temporary office location.