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Goshen Fiscal Officer recommends tax levy

To the editor:

As Fiscal Officer (FO) of Goshen Township, it is my responsibility to not only watch the current financial status of the township, but also to project the future financial status.

After 13 years working with the road department budget, I believe it is time to add a Road Department Asset Replacement levy to our tax base. The township currently has a number of large dollar pieces of equipment that are aging and will need replaced.

I’ll note some of the items, their age, a projected replacement cost, and year to be replaced:

­– 2008 Dodge 550 utility truck (SS bed & tailgate spreader, Snow plow), $95,000, 2021

–2006 Ford pickup truck ( Dump insert, Snow plow), $45,000, 2024

–2010 Kobota Tractor ( Mower, Ditcher), $65,000, 2025

–2001 International dump truck ( SS bed & tailgate spreader, Snow plow), $165,000, 2025

Currently we budget for two main projects: Equipment replacement and road maintenance (township roads). When we are faced with major replacement costs, we can only pay those costs from our equipment fund or our road maintenance fund, not both, so usually road maintenance work suffers.

In the last 10 years we have been able to replace a utility truck, a dump truck, a mowing tractor, and a backhoe by leasing new equipment – then buying at the end of the lease for $1. We have been able to make the yearly lease payments with our budget. But should we have to replace more than one large item at the same time, we would have to dip into road maintenance funds. We can and have done this for a one-year period, but would not be able to pay for two simultaneous leases over a five-year period without road maintenance suffering.

Trustees are reluctant to add another levy for residents to support, but the reality of the dollars is we need more income to keep our equipment up to date and hence reduce repair/maintenance costs.

This levy would be ONLY for equipment replacement. It would NOT be used for wages, benefits, road maintenance, day-to-day expenditures, etc.

We would welcome your thoughts and discussion on this idea. Come to our monthly trustee meeting and discuss with the trustees, the fiscal officer, and the road foreman.

Tom Knoedler,

Goshen Fiscal Officer

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