Mayor’s Message for week of Jan. 29

We want to congratulate Rick Anderson on his retirement that will commence officially at the end of February. Many of you know Rick as he and his family are long-time residents of Mantua Township.  Rick has also been a familiar face at our beautiful Chestnut Branch Park where he has worked for the vast majority of his 34 years as a township employee. Rick has been a key component to maintaining and beautifying the 109 acres of the park which encompasses the athletic fields, 9/11 Place of Reflection, basketball courts, playground area and the surrounding areas of rolling hills and the walking paths, etc.  I recently spoke with Rick and his immediate supervisor, Glenn DeMers, our Public Works Superintendent. Glenn said it best, “Rick’s a great employee and we’re going to miss him terribly. He’s going to be hard to replace.”  We certainly echo Glenn’s sentiments. We wish Rick much health and happiness in his retirement and thank him for his unwavering commitment to our community and especially our park.

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We’re very happy to announce that Mantua Township received CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) monies totaling $100,000.00 for ADA upgrades to the bathrooms at Chestnut Branch Park. A second phase included in this CDBG project also provides for a new family ADA compliant bathroom. The CDGB Grant provides funding to municipalities for ADA improvements to public facilities within their respective communities. This work is expected to be completed by early spring of this year. Again, we’re able to improve infrastructure needs at the park without having any adverse effect on the local taxpayer. This is always a great thing.

We are still receiving inquiries and/or concerns about the property reassessments that were done by the county tax assessor’s 0ffice last year. Please refer to the FAQ Sheet that was put out by our administration to help clarify some things. It can be found on our website or in previous social media posts from the latter part of 2022. The following are some important points of interest:

  • Typically, a reassessment will increase property assessment (value), but it does not mean that all property taxes will increase.
  • Mantua will not collect any additional taxes as a result of this reassessment.  A common misconception is that a reassessment is done to increase property taxes. This is simply not true.
  • The overall value of properties in the community has increased.  When the taxable value of the Township increases, the tax rate decreases, providing the tax levy remains the same. We, therefore, expect the current tax rate to be lower this year in 2023. The 2022 property assessment will be used to calculate your 2023 property tax bill, and the new tax rate will not be determined until this coming June/July 2023. Your tax bills will remain the same for the first and second quarters of this year.  No adjustments will be made until the third quarter tax bill which is due Aug. 1 with typically an extension period.
  • In the meantime, do not multiply the 2022 tax rate by the 2023 assessment to determine your property taxes for this year. Please keep in mind that reassessments are revenue neutral, as they do not generate any additional revenue to the existing township budget.

On a side note, regarding your property taxes which are billed in totality by the municipality. Approximately 53 percent of your property taxes collected go to the school district, 23 percent of your property taxes go to the County, three percent to the Fire District and only 21 percent comes to Mantua Township. The past two years, the township has kept the municipal levy flat with no local tax increase.

A couple friendly reminders:

  • Bulk Trash Pick-Up is this coming week from Monday, Feb. 6 through Friday, Feb. 10 during your normal trash day.  
  • Recycling Tip – Plastic bags are not permitted in your recycling bins.
  • First quarter property taxes are due Feb. 1, with the last day to avoid a late fee being Feb. 10.
  • The Mantua Township Police Department will be conducting “Child Safety Seat Installation” training for those residents interested in learning the correct way to install their child safety seats.  The training will be at the Sewell Fire House on Union Avenue on Saturday, Feb. 11 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
  • February is “Heart Month.” Remember to exercise, eat healthy, reduce stress, listen to your body and get regular medical check-ups, etc. in order to live your best “heart healthy” lifestyle.   

On a lighter and more exciting note, congratulations to our very own Philadelphia Eagles for winning the NFC Championship. As we look forward to Super Bowl LVII, we’ll continue to display Mantua’s support at Chestnut Branch with our newly updated version of a “Go Birds” sign.

On behalf of myself, Deputy-Mayor Pete Scirrotto and the entire Township Committee, we look forward to serving you with honesty, integrity and trustful leadership.

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