Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
East Cocalico won't fight ruling
BY PATRICK BURNS, Correspondent
The East Cocalico Township Board of Supervisors will not appeal the county's decision to reduce the tax assessment of the SuperValu Distribution Center property from $55.6 million to $43.8 million.
The Lancaster County Board of Assessment Appeals in November granted what appears to be the largest assessment reduction in county history on the 1.4-million-square-foot facility on Muddy Creek Road.
Township manager Mark Hiester said Tuesday that East Cocalico would take a loss of $25,563 from the reassessment. The updated assessment, including real estate taxes and hydrant fees, dips to $95,018 compared to revenues of $120,582 using the old assessment.
In 2013, the SuperValu property will generate real estate taxes of $89,764, down from the previous $113,913. The township also will have its hydrant tax revenue from the property drop to $5,254 from $6,668.
Hiester said that since SuperValu "always pays their taxes at the 2 percent discount rate," the actual loss in revenue would likely be $25,052.
He said the board is not following Cocalico School District's move in appealing the reassessment, which could cost the district more than $250,000 in revenue this year.
"For $25,000 in tax revenue loss and the difficulty in winning: no appeal," Hiester said. "Besides, the school district has more of a stake -- about $250,000 -- and is appealing,"
In other news, supervisors Chairman Doug Mackley met privately Jan. 17 with East Cocalico Township Police representatives to discuss a new police contract. The previous contract expired Dec. 31.
The 22-member force also provides coverage to West Cocalico Township and Adamstown and Denver boroughs.
"All I can say is that discussions are continuing," Hiester said Tuesday. If an agreement cannot be reached, negotiations would move to arbitration.
In other business, supervisors at their Jan. 16 meeting added Ream's Disposal Inc. of Bowmansville to its list of trash haulers registered to do business in the township. The list of registered haulers for 2013 also includes Eagle's Disposal Service, Good's Disposal Service, Purple Heart Disposal II, Waste Management and York Waste Disposal.
During the meeting, supervisors also considered a proposal to allow volunteer fire police in the township to participate in nonemergency events.
Though the board tabled the resolution, all three supervisors said they favor the idea. If approved, fire companies would no longer be required to ask the board's permission each time the fire police are requested to help control nonemergency events such as parades, organized biking and running events.
In roadwork news, supervisors announced that a detour on Wabash Road for bridge replacement has been moved ahead to Monday. The bridge closure, which had been scheduled for Feb. 4, will last for about six months.