For ninth consecutive year, there will be no tax hike in Medford

Council also considers amending ordinance on firewood sale

A proclamation honoring Luke Denn’s and Ryder Groves’ achievements is read at a council meeting on March 16. Denn and Groves became Eagle Scouts after completing service projects (Kathy Burger/Special to The Sun).

For the ninth year in a row, Medford plans no tax hike,  Mayor Chuck Watson announced at a March 16 township council meeting.

The 2021 municipal budget passed unanimously and includes extra funding for the police department, two turf fields and $2 million reserved for road improvements.

“We’ll continue to go down that road as far as we can, but expenses do go up,” Watson said of maintaining the current tax rate..

Costs for the township increased in several areas this year, including sanitation, pensions and salaries and landfill costs. The township also budgeted for leaf removal that is expected to cost between $40,000 and $50,000. Medford collects around 30,000 cubic yards of leaves each year and must remove them every four to five years to comply with state Department of Environmental Protection rules.

Leaf removal costs could be decreased if area farms are willing to accept some of the stockpiled leaves, so the township has asked any interested parties to contact town hall.

Council also discussed amending the controversial tree ordinance to make the wording clearer. Members are considering allowing certain property owners to resume selling firewood, so long as the wood comes from Medford itself or neighboring towns. Amendments to the ordinance will be voted on at the April 6 meeting.

Also at the council meeting, Councilman Bradley Denn recognized two Medford Eagle Scouts, his son Luke and Ryder Groves. The latter renovated two pits — used in the sports game gaga —  and installed custom benches at Cranberry Pines Elementary School. Denn installed a fire pit, seating and walkways at St. Mary of the Lakes Church.

Their proclamations celebrated community commitment and the pair’s contributions to Boy Scout Troop 26.