Liberty Township has downsized its road department, but will spend more on road paving in 2012.

Liberty Township has downsized its road department, but will spend more on road paving in 2012.

Trustees began 2012 appropriations discussions Oct. 17, beginning with the road department.

Over the past year, the department shrank from nine personnel to six through attrition, road superintendent Randy Leib said.

The department’s responsibilities include maintaining the township’s roads and rights of way, plowing, ice removal and drainage work. Crew members also maintain traffic and street signs, and clear dead animals and trees that fall onto the roads. The township has about 86 miles of road.

Documents from the meeting show the 2012 appropriations to be $455 less than those of 2011, respectively $1,233,342 and $1,233,797.

Forty-one percent of the budget will go toward the township’s 2012 paving program, 19 percent toward salaries, 11 percent for employee fringe benefits, 11 percent for capital reserve, 11 percent for supplies and materials, and 7 percent for purchased services.

The department’s 2012 expenses include $500,000 for road paving, up from the $300,000 spent in 2011.

The reduction in employees decreased the appropriated salaries and fringe benefits from $515,675 in 2011 to $375,907 in 2012.

For the third year, employees in the department won’t receive wage increases.

“There were increases in 2009,” said fiscal officer Mark Gerber. “(And) zero increases in 2010 and 2011.”

Leib said the decrease in personnel may slow snow removal on residential streets, particularly cul-de-sacs, which take a lot of time to clear. Parks department workers help with winter snow removal, he said. They are paid road-crew wages when they work in that capacity.

Last year, Gerber recommended projecting capital improvement needs for each department. He helped departments set up estimated schedules of replacement for large, more costly equipment. Each year, funds are labeled as capital reserve to plan for those large purchases.

The department will set aside $129,000 for capital reserve.

Leib recommended replacing trucks when their warranty expires. Large dump trucks have eight-year warranties and smaller dump trucks have five-year warranties, he said.

The department’s equipment includes 11 trucks and plows, two tractors, street maintenance equipment and miscellaneous small mowers and equipment.

For supplies and materials, the department projects spending $138,400 for road salt, stone, fuel, asphalt and crack sealant for general repairs performed by the department’s crews, and not part of the pavement program. Purchased services include accounting and legal fees, liability insurance and bonding, technical support and tax collection fees, and are estimated at $90,035.

The department is funded from state motor vehicle license fees and taxes, the gasoline tax and a portion of the township’s inside property tax millage dedicated to roads and bridges.

Discussions of the 2012 appropriations will continue when the trustees hear from other departments at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, at the township hall, 7761 N. Liberty Road.

The following programs are offered at the Powell branch of the Delaware County District Library, 460 S. Liberty St. For information, call (614) 888-9160.

• DucTeens: More Duct Tape Awesomeness, ages 9 and up, 7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 31.

• Toddler Time, for ages 2-3, 10 a.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays.

• Baby Time, for ages birth-24 months, 11 a.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays.

• Family Story Time, for preschool ages, 10 a.m. on Fridays.

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