Rapho Township

Rapho Township Municipal Building.

When: Rapho Township supervisors meeting, Nov. 19

What happened: Supervisors approved a $4.88 million preliminary budget for 2021 without a tax increase.

What it means: The property tax rate would remain at 1.5 mills. One mill is equal to $1 in property tax for every $1,000 of assessed value. A property assessed at $200,000 would result in a $300 tax bill.

Spending plan: Balancing the budget requires a transfer of $120,183 from the township’s reserves. It marks the third consecutive year officials have used reserves to balance the budget.

Quotable: “This was a tough budget. Kudos to the staff and supervisor Lowell Fry, who spent so much time on the budget,” Supervisor Jere Swarr said.

Emergency services: Overall funding for the three fire companies serving the township decreased from $619,248 this year to $595,648 for 2021. Slight decreases are proposed to contributions for the operating budgets of the Manheim and Mount Joy fire departments. Donations to ambulance services remain the same at $10,000 each to Northwest EMS and Susquehanna Valley Ambulance. Contracted police service from Manheim Borough has increased from $1.397 million this year to $1.46 million.

Libraries: Donations to both libraries will remain the same. The proposed donation to Milanof-Schock Library is $21,007, and the proposed donation to Manheim Community Library is $16,461.

Projects: Road projects include reclaiming Valley Road and widening it from Hossler to Sunnyside roads and widening and overlay on Baker Road from Hossler to Valley roads. Portions of Strickler Road will be overlaid. Cost for these projects is budgeted at $655,000. The township’s state liquid fuels fund will be used to cover $465,000, while the remaining $190,000 will be funded through the general fund.

What’s next: The proposed budget is available for review at the municipal office, 971 N. Colebrook Road. It will also be posted online at raphotownship.com. Final adoption is slated for Dec. 17.

Taco Bell: Conditional approval was granted to Mount Joy Investors LLP to develop a 2.04-acre lot at 1580 Strickler Road. A 66-seat 2,753-square-foot Taco Bell with patio and drive-thru and a 2,200-square-foot Starbucks coffee shop with two drive-thru lanes would be constructed as well as a 3,435-square-foot commercial building. Joe DePascale, one of the developers, said both the Taco Bell and Starbucks are expected to open mid-2021.