EBENSBURG – Consistent with years past, Cambria Township’s 2019 budget includes no increase to real estate taxes.
The township supervisors unanimously approved the $2.1 million budget at their last regular meeting of the year on Wednesday night, keeping the millage rate at 9.5 mills.
Of the 9.5 mills, 7 mills goes toward general purposes, 1 mill is directed for road machinery, 1 mill is set aside for fire apparatus and 0.5 mills is appropriated for the township’s recreation fund.
Supervisors’ Chairman Tim Bracken said the millage rate, which has been the same for decades, can be attributed to steady growth in the township.
“We’ve been fortunate,” he said.
“We can hold our expenses. We’re in good shape.”
The township hasn’t seen sharp increases in health care or union contracts, Bracken said, but does have to budget for overall increases in operating costs.
“The price of everything has just gone up,” he said.
Although the township has seen consistent growth, especially in the last few years along the U.S. Route 22 corridor, Bracken said it’ll take time to begin feeling the positive effects of those new businesses when it comes to the township’s budget.
Last week, Starbucks was the latest business opening at Ebensburg Commons, a development across from Beulah Road along Route 22.
Taco Bell opened in October at the same site, and an Aldi Food Market was the first business to open there last December.
Excavation work is under way for construction of a Kentucky Fried Chicken at the same site, which will leave one vacant plot to finish the development.
Retail space is also available in the same building that houses Starbucks.
“That whole piece is ready to go,” said township engineer Jack Schaffer.
UPMC Altoona’s new outpatient center opened this spring off Route 22 on Zeman Drive, and construction recently began for Conemaugh Health System’s outpatient center near College Plaza along the same highway.
First National Bank has also demolished the former Dairy Queen location in front of the Walmart Plaza to make room for a larger location.
R.E. Michel Co., a wholesaler for heating, ventilation and air conditioning contractors, is also working on an expansion project in the township.
Construction is ongoing to move the company’s existing West Lloyd Street location to a 6,000-square-foot warehouse and sales facility off Hudson Street in Revloc.
“They’re chugging right along,” Schaffer said.