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Highland to hold-off SPCA donation

Richard D. L. Fulton

(12/15) The Highland Township Board of Supervisors voted at their December 13 meeting to defray their annual donation to the Adams County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ACSPCA).

Secretary and Treasurer Alicia Birckhead stated that the township had received a letter dated November 29 from the SPCA indicating the humane organization was not in a position to accept donations from the municipalities at the present time.

According to a copy of the SPCA letter provided to the Emmitsburg News-Journal, the organization stated, "As you are doubtlessly aware, our shelter manager, Dawn Wike, is no longer in our employ."

The SPCA has been unable to find a suitable, trained replacement. As a result, any applicant accepted for the position would have to undergo training classes which "are not offered until May."

"It would be, therefore, unfair to charge you for services which we cannot provide for 2012," ACSPCA board President Kathleen Carroll stated in the letter. "Accordingly, we will not be providing animal control services in 2012."

Carroll further stated, "We will re-evaluate this decision next year and will advise you whether we can provide animal control services for 2013."

Supervisor Ed Steinour, Jr. said, "I hope they do not fall through. They are definitely needed."

Township passes 2012 budget

The Highland Township Board of Supervisors approved at their December 13 the 2012 municipal budget in the amount of $270,795.

The approved budget includes $12,125 for legislative, executive and financial expenses, $500 for auditing and bookkeeping services, $1,500 for tax collection, $5,000 for legal services, $39,450 for the office of the secretary/treasurer, $11,900 for township and plant expenses, $23,000 for public safety, $123,000 for roads, $800 for culture and recreation, and $50,000 for employee benefits.

Anticipated revenues for 2012 amount to $267,275, which should produce a budgetary surplus of $3,520.

The existing tax rate of 0.2088 will remain unchanged.

Secretary and Treasurer Alicia Birckhead said, except for the 2011 adjustment reflecting the real estate re-assessment, the tax rate has effectively remained unchanged in the township for 20 years.

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