Maloney Holds Unfunded Mandates Meeting for Local Governments
DOUGLASSVILLE – On Wednesday, Nov. 30, state Rep. David Maloney (R-Berks) invited Berks County township and borough officials from the 130th District to meet with him at the Amity Township municipal building to discuss unfunded state and federal mandates. Philip Klotz, assistant director of the Pennsylvania Local Government Commission, also presented information and heard firsthand about the struggles local governments have with state and federal mandates.

As a member of the House State Government Committee, Maloney said, “I held this meeting to better understand from the people who live with these issues every day and their difficulties dealing with unfunded mandates. I take this kind of information, and experiences told to me in conversations daily, with me back to Harrisburg and I relay the facts to my colleagues in the state House.”

Robeson Township Supervisor Roger Feeg commented, “The cost of the sewer system project the state is forcing Robeson to undertake is far too high for what the pockets of a small municipality’s taxpayers can afford. The problem,” Feeg said, “is that these projects are forced on taxpayers by bureaucrats who don’t have to answer to voters.”

Even though some mandates are partially funded by the government, it can take years for townships to receive the money, wrecking havoc with annual budgets.

Union Township Manager Carol Lewis said obtaining storm water permits to replace pipes has skyrocketed from an average of $3,000 to nearly $40,000, due to an Environmental Protection Agency lawsuit. Because of that, two of Union Township’s roads will remain closed for some time. “It’ll take us four to six months to get a permit,” Lewis said.

Some of the most burdensome mandates discussed were the Prevailing Wage Act, various laws pertaining to competitive bidding, Right-to-Know Laws and the time and expense required to answer requests, and state requirements for storm water maintenance.

Six townships were represented at the meeting. Maloney said he intends to hold more of these types of meetings in the future.
Share |