Township of Kingston, PA
Luzerne County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The fiscal year of the township shall begin on the first day of January and end on the last day of December.
On or before the 15th day of November of each year, the manager shall submit to the board of supervisors a budget for the ensuing fiscal year and an accompanying message.
The manager's message shall explain the budget both in fiscal terms and in terms of progress. It shall outline the proposed financial policies of the township for the ensuing fiscal year; describe the important features of the budget; indicate any major changes from the current year in financial policies, expenditures, and revenues, together with reasons for such changes; summarize the township's debt position; and include such other material as the manager deems desirable.
The budget shall provide a complete financial plan of all township funds and activities for the ensuing fiscal year and, except as required by this charter, shall be in such form as the manager deems desirable or the board of supervisors may require. In organizing the budget, the manager shall utilize the most feasible combination of expenditure classification by fund, organization unit, program, purpose or activity, and object. The budget shall contain, inter alia, the following:
(1) 
A general summary of its contents.
(2) 
All estimated income, in detail, indicating the existing and proposed tax levies, as well as other assessments, fees and charges.
(3) 
All proposed expenditures, including debt service, for the ensuing fiscal year.
(4) 
The number of proposed employees in every job classification.
(5) 
Comparative figures for actual and estimated income and expenditures for the current fiscal year, and actual income and expenditures of the preceding fiscal year.
(6) 
Proposed expenditures during the ensuing fiscal year, detailed by offices, departments and agencies, in terms of their respective work programs and the methods of financing such expenditures.
(7) 
Proposed capital expenditures during the ensuing fiscal year, detailed by offices, departments and agencies when practicable, and the proposed method of financing each such capital expenditure.
The total of proposed expenditures shall not exceed the total of estimated income.
(a) 
Submission to Council. The manager shall prepare and submit to the board of supervisors a five-year capital program at least three (3) months prior to the final date for submission of the budget.
(b) 
Contents. The capital program shall include:
(1) 
A clear general summary of its contents.
(2) 
A list of all capital improvements which are proposed to be undertaken during the five fiscal years next ensuing, with appropriate supporting information as to the necessity for such improvements.
(3) 
Cost estimates, method of financing and recommended time schedules for each such improvement.
(4) 
The estimated annual cost of operating and maintaining the facilities to be constructed or acquired.
The above information may be revised and extended each year with regard to capital improvements still pending or in process of construction or acquisition.
The annual budget shall be a public record and shall be available for public inspection after submission and prior to adoption, and after adoption, during regular business hours.
(a) 
Amendment Before Adoption. After the public hearing, the board of supervisors may adopt the budget with or without amendment. In amending the budget, it may add or increase programs or amounts and may delete or decrease any programs or amounts, except expenditures required by law or for debt service or for estimated cash deficit, provided that no amendment to the budget shall increase the authorized expenditures to an amount greater than the total of estimated income.
(b) 
Adoption of Budget. The annual budget shall be adopted by ordinance. This action shall be taken prior to the commencement of the year for which the budget is prepared, but only after it has been available for public inspection, after due notice, for at least ten (10) days.
(c) 
Tax Rates. Immediately after the budget is finally adopted, the board of supervisors shall, by ordinance, set the tax rates and levy on the various subjects of taxation. The fixing of rates of taxation on the assessed valuation of all real property shall be in conformity with and subject to the Second Class Township Code as it may be amended from time to time. The board of supervisors shall determine the rate of all taxes which may be levied under the authority of the Local Tax Enabling Act, Act 511 of 1965, as amended.
(d) 
Amendment After Adoption:
(1) 
Supplemental Appropriations. If, during the fiscal year, the manager certifies that there are available for appropriation revenues in excess of those estimated in the budget, the board of supervisors, by ordinance, may make supplemental appropriations for the year up to the amount of such excess.
(2) 
Emergency Appropriations. To meet a public emergency affecting life, health, property or the public peace, the board of supervisors may make emergency appropriations. Such appropriations may be made by emergency ordinance in accordance with the provisions of section 403. To the extent that there are no available unappropriated revenues to meet such appropriations, the board of supervisors may by such emergency ordinance authorize the issuance of emergency notes, which may be renewed from time to time, but the emergency notes and renewals of any fiscal year shall be paid not later than the last day of the fiscal year next succeeding that in which the emergency appropriation was made.
(3) 
Reduction of Appropriations. If, at any time during the fiscal year, it appears probable to the manager that the revenues available will be insufficient to meet the amount appropriated, he shall report to the board of supervisors without delay, indicating the estimated amount of the deficit, any remedial action taken by him, and his recommendations as to any other steps to be taken. The board of supervisors shall then take such further action as it deems necessary to prevent or minimize any deficit and for that purpose it may, by ordinance, reduce one or more appropriations.
(4) 
Transfer of Appropriations. At any time during the fiscal year the manager may transfer part or all of any unencumbered appropriation balance among programs within a department, office or agency; and, upon written request by the manager, the board of supervisors may, by ordinance, transfer part or all of any unencumbered appropriation balance from one department, office or agency to another.
(5) 
Limitations; Effective Date. No appropriation for debt service may be reduced or transferred, and no appropriation may be reduced below any amount required by law to be appropriated or by more than the amount of the unencumbered balance thereof. The supplemental and emergency appropriations and reduction or transfer of appropriations authorized by this section may be made effective immediately upon adoption.
(e) 
Appropriations. Adoption of the budget and amendments thereof shall constitute appropriations for the expenditures set forth herein.
(a) 
Notice and Hearing. The board of supervisors shall publish in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the township the general summary of the capital program and a notice stating:
(1) 
The times and places where copies of the capital program are available for inspection by the public, and
(2) 
The time and place, not less than two weeks after such publication, for a public hearing on the capital program.
(b) 
Adoption. The board of supervisors, by resolution, shall adopt the capital program, with or without amendment, after the public hearing and concurrently with action on the operating budget for the forthcoming fiscal year.
Every appropriation, except an appropriation for a capital expenditure, shall lapse at the close of the fiscal year to the extent that it has not been expended or encumbered. An appropriation for a capital expenditure shall continue in force until the purpose for which it was made has been accomplished, but it shall lapse if three years pass without any disbursement from or encumbrance of the appropriation.
(a) 
Work Programs and Allotments. At such time as the manager shall specify, each department, office or agency shall submit work programs for the ensuing fiscal year showing the requested allotments of its appropriation by periods within the year. The manager shall review and authorize such allotments with or without revision as early as possible in the fiscal year. He may revise such allotments during the year if he deems it desirable and shall revise them to accord with any supplemental, emergency, reduced or transferred appropriations made pursuant to section 707(d).
(b) 
Payment of Funds. No payment of any fund of the township shall be made unless provided for in the budget and specifically approved by the board of supervisors; provided, however, that payroll and utility expenditures may be made at the direction of the manager where based upon a prior ordinance or contract. All checks or drafts of the township shall be signed by the manager and shall be counter-signed by the chairman or vicechairman of the board of supervisors.
The board of supervisors shall provide for an independent annual audit of all township revenues and accounts by a Certified Public Accountant who has no personal interest, direct or indirect, in the fiscal affairs of the township government or any of its elected or appointed officers. The board of supervisors may provide for more frequent audits, as well as special audits, as it deems necessary. The results of the annual audit and a financial statement of the fiscal affairs of the township shall be presented to the board of supervisors and published in a newspaper circulating generally in the township by April 1st of the year following the fiscal year audited.
Before entering upon the duties of their respective offices or positions, the township manager as well as any other officer, agent or employee of the township, as the board of supervisors may determine, shall execute and file with the township corporate surety bonds, conditioned for the honest and faithful performance of their respective duties, in such sums as shall be fixed by the board of supervisors. All such bonds and sureties thereon, before being accepted by the township, shall be approved by the township legal officer. The insurance carrier placing such bonds shall be determined by the board of supervisors and the premium therefore shall be paid by the township. Such bonds may provide for one or more additional obligees in the event that the officer bonded is acting in a dual or similar capacity with other political sub-divisions or governmental or quasi-governmental entities.