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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bristol Township

Bristol Twp Holds Tax Line for 2023, with Fee and Pay Increases Next Year

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The Bristol Township Council voted to approve its $66.7 million 2023 spending plan recently. Total expenditures will come in just about $4 million less than the 2022 budget with some fees increased.

The millage rate will remain at 23.98. with the average bill projected to rise little more than $53.00 from 2022, officials said due to rising township garbage and lighting costs.

Due to increasing electric costs and needed repairs, street light assessment fees will increase from $27.50 for residential and $62.50 for commercial real estate to $30.25 and $68.75 respectively, officials said in township documents. 

In the fifth and final year of their waste removal deal with Waste Management, costs have increased and the township is raising the rate by $23 per year, totaling $340 per residence.

“This increase is to assist in offsetting the anticipated increase with a new contract price for 2024,” Township Manager Randee Elton and Finance Officer Francis Phillips said in the budget proposal.

Township officials said in the initial proposal that they expect municipal revenues to come over $4.6 million largely in part to fees associated with new development, a little more than 1 million in American Rescue Plan Act Funds and earned income proceeds.

The township expects to spend money on several capital projects, including grants to the volunteer fire companies, heat at the public works garage, replacing police body-worn cameras, upgrades to police in-car cameras, and $5.7 million will be put toward storm and sanitary sewer maintenance, repairs, and upgrades.

With a number of retirements the Bristol Township Police Department hired 13 new officers in 2022 and promoted others to fill vacant slots.

We will continue to evaluate costs and expenditures in the light of increasing calls for police services. Once back at full strength we will begin to assess the need to hire additional officers,”  said Elton during the last Council meeting.

Officials said the township plans to use $2 million from its $5.2 million budget surplus to pay down its debt service and $100,000 to refresh its blighted property fund.

Pay increases for Bristol Township employees of a little more than four percent, Elton said.

Its not only to remain competitive with other municipalities “…but also to express my appreciation for the hard work and dedication this team exhibits daily,” she said.

Elton also announced there are plans in the works  for her to add an assistant township manager job to the manager’s office. Its a position  she previously held, but has been left vacant since she became manager of the county’s second largest municipality population wise in 2020.

Overall Elton proudly said Bristol Township  hasn’t raised taxes in 10 years and is pleased with the overall financial health of the municipality. A municipality that only years ago was faced with millions in “unfunded debt.”

The community can review the 2023 Bristol Township spending plan here and review budget presentation slides here

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bristol Township

Bristol Twp Police Reports: BMX Bike Stolen, Man Charged with Assault, and More

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Bristol Twp Police

Bristol Twp Police Reports June 15 to June 16. 2024

Arrest 6-15-24, 0028 hours, Beaver Dam Road, Bristol, Pa. The below subject was arrested on a Bench Warrant out of Bucks County and Philadelphia.  The subject was released to the Philadelphia Sheriff’s. Jamaal Danelle Singleton, B/M, 44 years old Willits Road Philadelphia, Pa

Arrest 6-16-24, 1145 hours, Bristol Pike, Bristol, Pa. The below subject was arrested on a Bench Warrant out of Bucks County and released to the Sheriff’s. Brittany Ann Knoll, W/F, 33 years old Main Avenue Croydon, Pa

Arrest 6-16-24, 1713 hours, Gamewood Road, Levittown, Pa. The below subject was arrested on the charges of Simple Assault and Harassment.  The subject was processed and arraigned by Judge Wagner.  Bail was set at $25,000/unsecured. Joan Proffitt, W/F, 62 years old Gamewood Road Levittown, Pa

Theft 6-16-24, 0524 hours, Indian Creek Entry, Levittown, Pa. On 6-15-24 between 2000 hours and 0000 hours an unknown subject removed a Thruster BMX bicycle from a residence.  The estimated value is $500.00.

Submitted:

 

 

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bensalem Township

Bensalem Twp Council To Vote On Volunteer Fire Company Consolidation Monday Night

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Just under two years ago at a Bristol Borough Council meeting, officials were getting an update on the then planned fire company consolidation effort by Steve Reeves,  president of the Bristol Borough Fire Association. At the time, talk of consolidating fire companies in the borough and Bristol Township was a hot topic.

During his presentation Reeves mentioned consolidation talks of the Bensalem fire company volunteer services were also in progress. At the time tidbit was not in the public domain.

Credit: Submitted

Now after two years of planning, the Bensalem Township Council will vote on a resolution to form The Bensalem Volunteer Fire Department at its next meeting Monday night.

If the resolution is passed, the six legacy fire companies, including Cornwells, Eddington, Newport, Nottingham, Trevose, and Union, will be consolidated into one volunteer fire department. This consolidation plan is necessary to ensure adequate fire/emergency response within the township because of reduced membership amongst the current companies, a press release announced late Friday afternoon.

Credit: Submitted

Reeves knew what he was talking about at the time. Lower Bucks Source in the following days reached out to area first responder sources, officials and Bensalem area volunteer firefighters. No one anywhere would go on or off the record. LBS was directed, by Battalion Chief/Fire Marshal Robert Sponheimer, to the Deputy Director of Public Safety Robert Race who politely declined to respond to a request for comment at the time.

Credit: Submitted

Late last year, according to a Lower Bucks Times report, Bensalem officials spoke rather openly about dwindling volunteer numbers.  This led William McVey, director of public safety, to ask for council approval to apply for a SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant through FEMA, which was subsequently approved in November by council.

This past February the township announced the hiring of Mark Antozzeski as the first career Fire Chief in Bensalem history. He is leading the volunteer fire services, as well as Bensalem Fire Rescue, career staff. McVey told Bensalem Patch.com the hiring was an important piece of the consolidation process.

 

Credit: Submitted

Earlier this month,  Nottingham Fire Department Chief Ron Harris was named the Bensalem Volunteer Fire Department Deputy Chief as part of the consolidation effort, according to published report. 

Credit: Submitted

Beginning Friday evening, shortly after receiving the Bensalem announcement on the expected consolidation vote, first responder sources Lower Bucks Source contacted said that back in 2022 when first contacted they declined to comment because the topic was sensitive in nature and a real possibility of backlash existed and concerns about “sabotaging” the process were also omnipresent. Those sources again declined to comment on the record.

Consolidation Efforts in Bristol Borough & Bristol Township

In February, Bristol Borough voted to consolidate their volunteer fire services. Prior to that step the borough approved applying for a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program Grant in the amount of $1.5 to build a new fire house at a yet to be determined location.

As far back as February of 2022, a smaller plan in size and scope was being discussed in Bristol Township involving Newportville Fire Company #1, Third District Fire Company with career fire personnel from the township which came off the heels of  a fire study completed in 2020.  That plan is no longer in play, fire officials say. Third District Fire Chief Howard McGoldrick said it’s a “complete mystery” why Newportville ultimately decided against the discussed move and merger.

” Volunteer fire services in Bucks County are changing right before our eyes” one first responder said last year.

Credit: Submitted

In each of the consolidation efforts, public safety, declining volunteer numbers and increasing costs have been cited repeatedly by officials publicly.

“It’s just not sustainable anymore financially for fire companies, the municipalities they serve, and taxpayers. It’s consolidate or die”, a high ranking first responder source said Friday.

Bensalem Council is expected to pass the resolution with its vote tonight.

Editor’s Note:  Each of the images in this story come from the volunteer fire companies serving Bensalem Township.

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bristol Township

Video Clip: Storm Rolling Through West Bristol Friday Night

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NOAA Weather

Philadelphia, Northeast Philadelphia Airport, PA

Last Updated on Jun 5 2024, 7:54 am EDT

Current Conditions: Fog/Mist

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Temp: 68°F

Wind: East at 5mph

Humidity: 87%

Dewpoint: 64.0°F

Your 5-Day Forecast at a Glance

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