The overall 2023 Budget consists of seven separate budgets: General, Sewer, Highway Improvement, Capital Investment, Liquid Fuels, Capital Reserve, and Open Space. The Township is projected to end 2023 with combined fund balances of approximately $11.8 million.
|Fund Name||Balance 12/31/2022 (unaudited)||Balance 13/31/2023 (budgeted)|
|General Fund (01)||$4,554,796||$1,831,731|
|Sewer Fund (08)||$782,447||$0|
|Highway Improvement Fund (18)||$91,356||$48,541|
|Capital Investment Fund (30)||$4,964,581||$5,763,508|
|Liquid Fuels (35) Fund||$322,506||$271,789|
|Capital Reserve Fund (50)||$1,167,449||$100,400|
|Open Space Fund (99)||$1,327,874||$3,843,026|
|Total Available Funds||$13,211,008||$11,858,995|
The General Fund, which is the principal operating fund for the Township, is primarily supported by property taxes ($1.494 million) and the earned income tax ($2.9 million). Other funding sources are the real estate transfer tax ($312,500), along with fees, fines, interest earnings, grants, and transfers from other funds ($900,000). Total General Fund revenues for 2023 are projected at $5.6 million, with the property tax rate of 1.75 mills, unchanged for 2023.
The biggest General Fund expense is a $1.65 million payment to West Chester Borough to provide police services to East Bradford Township. Police, fire and ambulance combined total over $2 million – 40% more than property tax receipts. Employee salaries account for 22% of the budget, which includes 2-3 new employees to be hired this year. Traditionally, the Board of Supervisors reserves at least 10% of General Fund revenues for future capital needs. For 2023, that will increase to 24% with a budgeted transfer of $1,362,000 to the Capital Reserve Fund.
The Sewer Fund supports the operation and maintenance of public sewer service at the Darlington Ridge subdivision on Route 52. The Township is preparing to sell this infrastructure in 2023, with most of the proceeds directed to the Capital Reserve and Capital Investment Funds.
The Highway Improvement Fund functions as a contingency account for roads and related infrastructure. A pedestrian safety project at Route 322 near Bradford Plaza is included in the 2023 budget, along with line painting and traffic studies.
The Capital Investment Fund was established in 2018 with the proceeds from the sale of the public sewer system. The revenue anticipated from the 2023 sewer sale will likewise be deposited into this account. The Board of Supervisors continues to conserve the principal ($4.96 million) while transferring the annual investment returns (estimated at $185,000 for 2023) to the Capital Reserve Fund to address ongoing infrastructure needs.
The Capital Reserve Fund will receive over $2 million in transfers from the General, Sewer, and Capital Investment funds to support the Board’s commitment to infrastructure upgrades. Planned expenses include $1.17 million for work on Ravine Road and the Ashbridge Street bridge; $910,000 for stormwater projects; $217,000 for the Township Campus; and $135,000 for parks and trails capital improvements. Another $533,500 is earmarked for the purchase of vehicles and equipment. Some of these expenses are being paid from the $1 million in American Rescue Plan funds received in 2021-2022, but those funds will be fully obligated by the end of 2023.
The Liquid Fuels Fund is supported by an annual allocation from PennDOT based on the state gasoline tax. East Bradford expects to receive $341,000 in 2023, all of which is designated for road paving.
The Open Space Fund is funded primarily from a designated 0.25% Earned Income Tax. The Township expects to receive $1.2 million in open space grants in 2023--on top of $1.325 million in Chester County grant funds received in late 2022--related to the 2020 acquisition of 156 acres of open space in the northwestern corner of the Township.