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The Mehoopany Township supervisors approved the general operations budget of $289,880 $416,410 for 2017 at its Dec. 14 meeting.

Taxes will remain at 4 mills - with two mills going to the township, and two mills going to the FWM Volunteer Fire Company, unchanged from 2016.

The supervisors also approved a budget of $171,530 for sewer, which includes an $11 increase per quarter for local sewer bills. The reason the increase is because of repairs that had to be made a the sewer plant this past year.

At the request of Forkston Township Supervisor Frank Miner, the Mehoopany Township Supervisors voted to renew a lease with Southwestern Energy, for a capped natural gas well located adjacent to Creek Junction Park.

The park is jointly operated by Mehoopany, Forkston, Windham and North Branch townships, and the money from the sign-on bonus and any anticipated royalties will be turned over to the park committee to help pay for operating expenses. The committee will receive an initial $2,000 per acre for eight acres of property occupied by the park, plus 16 percent royalties on the gas produced by the well.

Miner said the park will see benefits for several years from the agreement.

Supervisor Bill Henning later reported that Mehoopany Township has previously paid an annual per capita fee of $700 to $800 per year as its share to support the park. The anticipated royalties will be used in lieu of the capita fee for at least the next seven years, he said.

During the police report for November, Henning informed the other supervisors that there was one arrest for theft; one arrest for criminal mischief; one arrest for driving while under the influence; one arrest for disorderly conduct; one investigation of a suspicious person; one traffic/parking problem reported; one 911 hang up; one traffic citation; and seven warnings issued. A total of 60 hours were logged in.

Henning reported that the township has received six applications for township secretary.

On a motion made by Supervisor George Kavaliauskas and seconded by Henning, the supervisors voted to close the application process and begin reviewing them after the first of the year.

The new secretary will replace Carolyn Northerner, who is scheduled to step down in June.

Kavaliauskas, who is the local road master, also reported that while operating a truck to spread salt in the township, the vehicle struck a parked car owned by a township employee. He said the deductible has been paid to the insurance company, which had made full compensation to the employee.

In other business, the supervisors approved a contract with Graves and Associates of Factoryville to perform an audit of the township’s finances for $4,000.

A new private road, ‘Honda Lane,’ was reported in operation in the township, located off state Route 87 by the United Methodist Church.

The supervisors are scheduled to hold a reorganization meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 3, at 7 p.m.