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Mount Joy Township Raises Taxes, Mostly for Fire Protection

Mount Joy Township supervisors have voted for a budget that includes a property tax increase of slightly over 22%, with most of the new tax going to fire protection.

The total tax approved by supervisors at their meeting on Monday, Nov. 18, is going from 2.24 mills ($224 for every $100,000 in assessed value) to 2.74 mills ($274 for every $100,000 in assessed value). The total increase of 0.5 mills, which should generate $451,736 in revenue, includes 0.2 mills for general township revenue and 0.3 mills for fire protection.

Also at the meeting, Township Manager Justin S. Evans presented a draft of a personnel handbook, which he said would allow the township to comply with legally required leaves of absence township employees, such as those who are disabled or who need to serve in the National Guard or Reserves. He asked for supervisors to give him feedback before the township’s Dec. 16 meeting so he could make revisions to be approved then.

In addition, Evans said Lancaster County has agreed to replace a county-owned bridge that carries Colebrook Road over the Little Chiques Creek. Generally speaking, bridges carrying municipal roads such as Colebrook Road are owned by municipalities, but this particular bridge is owned by the county. Evans said he does not know why the county owns this bridge. Evans said drivers who had used the bridge approached county commissioners to ask them to reopen it.

“They were very civil but very forthright about the importance of it,” Evans said.

In June, Evans said the bridge was planned for elimination because it meets all four of the county’s criteria: a low traffic volume, a nearby alternate route, no historic significance and a high replacement cost. Evans said in June that the bridge had 492 crossings a day and the county was considering any bridge with fewer than 1,000 crossings a day for closing. The Quarry Road bridge over the creek is less than half a mile away and the longest detour anyone has to make with the bridge out is 2.7 miles. It is not a wooden covered bridge or other bridge with similar historic significance. And the estimated cost to replace the bridge is from $1.7 million to $2 million. However, he said at the Nov. 18 meeting that the county had some money left over and decided to use it to reopen the bridge.

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