At their November 30 meeting, Tredyffrin Supervisors approved a 2010 Preliminary Budget that is a whopping $2.9 million smaller than last year’s. Included are funding cuts to our police and fire departments, our libraries, and vital community services like Surrey Services for Seniors.
- The current budget reflects a 16% cut in township employees–including police personnel–that has already been implemented. Currently, Tredyffrin’s police force is down by four uniformed officers and two police support employees over a year ago–with no plans to restaff these positions.
- The budget includes a 5% cut in funding to our already underfunded fire departments, compounded next year by a 10% cut in state funding and a steep decline in community donations. This places a particular burden on the Berwyn and Radnor Fire Companies that are scheduled to replace their ladder trucks in 2010, and on the Paoli Fire Company that is in the process of making major renovations to their firehouse. B.F.C. handles the majority of advanced life support (ALS) calls in Tredyffrin and almost 2/3 of its fire calls. All three fire companies operate as mostly volunteer organizations and rely on state and local funding as well as contributions to operate and purchase equipment. They plan to release updated financial statements shortly.
- There is a 15% cut in the library budget, which will result in the closing of both Tredyffrin and Paoli Libraries one weekday a week. And in addition to cutting their operating funds, the libraries’ budget for new books and materials has been reduced by $20,000.
- Community organizations with shoestring budgets like Surrey Services for Seniors will receive no support from Tredyffrin in 2010. For Surrey, this amounts to a $10,000 loss in funding from the Township over last year’s – to a community group that provides transportation and in-home services to the elderly, most of whom are over age 75 and have limited resources.
These drastic cuts are the result of an aggressive cost-cutting effort by the township to avoid tapping reserve funds or raising taxes. However, in some cases, the funding cuts compromise public safety and reduce vital community services at a time when they are most needed.
Please contact Tredyffrin Supervisors and tell them to restore 2009 funding levels to our fire/EMS, police, libraries and vital community service organizations. You can email them at this township site.
The December 7 and 21 Board of Supervisors’ meetings offer 2 opportunities to comment publicly on the services cuts. A final vote is scheduled for the December 21 meeting, and we encourage you to attend.
To read a recent letter to the editor on the topic of Tredyffrin’s budget cuts to the fire companies, scroll to the letter “support volunteer firefighters” in the December 2nd issue of Main Line Suburban Life.
To read a local blogger’s perspective, go here.
For a closer look at Tredyffrin’s 2010 Budget, go here.