ELYSBURG - Ron Bittner and Barry Keck, both representing Univest, which is the current pension plan management firm serving Ralpho Township, attended the monthly meeting of the board of supervisors to explain their strategy for managing the fund. They were there to respond to recommendations made in an independent review by Sterling Financial Advisors last month.

Bittner said that since Ralpho's pension plan reached a million dollars, the township is eligible for a fee reduction from 1.25 to 1.00 percent. He noted that the actuarial rate of return of 8 percent was still on point and explained that reducing the actuarial rate would cost the township more money in fees and minimum monthly obligations.

Supervisor Steve Major said that the board is happy with Univest services, but continues to maintain a proactive approach to the pension plan to ensure the monies are properly invested. He said the township is not currently looking for a new pension plan manager but that option is always open if supervisors determine a changeis warranted. Major said supervisors will continue to monitor the pension plan closely and will again consider pension changes in the spring.

Backhoe purchased

With representatives from John Deere and Case present to answer any questions related to their respective bids, a motion was made by Dan Williams to purchase the backhoe from Case even though Case's price was $1,200 more than that submitted by John Deere.

Williams said he reviewed both machines thoroughly and found the Case machine to be of higher quality and a better value. The backhoe will cost the township approximately $62,000 after trade in of its old machine. The board now will consider possible warranty options.

Burglary concerns

William Burris told the board he has been the victim of several break-ins at his residence. Burris said the break-ins have been going on for years he plans to take additional steps to protect his home.

Supervisor Vince Daubert asked Burris why this was the first time the board was informed. Daubert said he will ask police to investigate.

No tax increases

The 2014 budget was approved with no increases in taxes. The budget anticipates general fund receipts of $1,384,422 and expenditures of $1,379,053, resulting in a surplus of $5,369.

Township taxes include:

Per capita - a tax in the amount of $5 levied on every adult residing in Ralpho Township, regardless of employment or earnings.

Occupation - A tax levied on all residents who hold an occupation. The amount of the tax is a flat amount which is assigned based on what the occupation is and not earnings.

Earned income - A 1 percent tax levied on all earnings from employment of residents.

Local services tax (formerly known as the occupational privilege tax) - The amount of the tax is $1 per week to a maximum of $52. The tax is levied on all people who work regardless of where they reside. The tax is payable to Ralpho Township.

Oil burner

Supervisors are seeking service agreements for the township's oil burner.