Springfield Twp. considers budget, open space and pickleball

by Ayla DiBattista
Posted 11/23/23

The Board of Commissioners proposed a 5.1 percent increase in the 2024 budget at its Nov. 11 meeting.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Springfield Twp. considers budget, open space and pickleball


Springfield Township's Board of Commissioners proposed a 5.1 percent increase in the 2024 budget at its Nov. 11 meeting, outlining a balanced operating budget of $19.6 million with a real estate tax rate of 4.516 mills and an earned income tax rate of 1.0%. 

The commissioners said earned income for 2023 as well as other local enabling taxes, license and permit fees, and interest earnings meant they do not have to raise real estate taxes this year. Those rates have not been raised since 2021. However, there will be a $13.98 increase in household refuse fees, bringing the total to $252.08 per household, they said. 

The top revenue sources for the 2024 budget are the real estate tax (32%), the earned income tax (22%), and Act 511 tax (11%). The latter includes taxes paid by local businesses. 

The top expenses of the budget are police (24%), benefits and insurance (22%), and public works (20%). 

The budget presentation marks the last step before the budget hearing and subsequent adoption, which will be held on Dec. 13 in the township building. 

Spending on open space

Resolution No. 1620 establishes the Springfield Township open space donation program and the creation of the open space fund to be used for any purpose as designated by Act 153 of 1996. 

The plan dictates that the township will match donations up to $200,000. The funds generated by this program will be used to acquire property, construct eco-friendly structures on the respective properties for both recreational and environmental purposes, and maintain the properties. 

The Open Space Preservation Plan was adopted in 2005. Its goal is to guide the township through acquiring new open space, connecting open space by enhancing the trail network, and developing programs and policies to preserve and maintain open space in the township. 

Trails and connectivity

A draft version of the Trails and Connectivity Plan is available on the township website. 

Except for a recent amendment that added paths around Stenton Avenue to improve the pedestrian and bicycling experience, the plan remains as it was when presented at the Board of Commissioners' meeting in October. The complete Trails and Connectability Plan, both the walking and biking editions, can be found on the township website, along with the Master Trail Plan Task Force’s presentation slides. 

Comments on the plan will be accepted up to Dec. 1. Official discussion and potential adoption will take place on Dec. 13. 

Recycling report

In November, Springfield Township donated 141.2 tons of recycled materials, with a household participation rate of 67.4%. 

The board also reminded residents that with the holiday season coming up, it’s important to remove all packing materials from cardboard boxes. Packing material is counted as residue, which means cardboard boxes that contain it can’t be recycled. 

Additionally, residents were reminded to flatten all cardboard boxes to make more space in the garbage disposal trucks, which saves time and reduces the use of fuel. 

Single-use plastic bags

The board unanimously approved Ordinance 976, which amends the law on single-use plastic carry-out bags. 

The amendment eliminates current exemptions for plastic bag usage with food delivery and take-out orders. Additionally, it forbids federal, state and local government retail establishments from distributing plastic bags. 

Essentially, the amendment cleared up some confusing language in the original bill, in line with the intent of the ordinance. 


Last month, residents came to the Board of Commissioners to present their concerns about the use of Wyndhill Park for pickleball, asking that the township remove both the net and the pickleball lines on the asphalt. 

The board agreed to the community members’ request. However, they also agreed, for the sake of the community members who wished to play pickleball, to reach out to the Springfield Township School District to ask if any of the current tennis courts could be used instead. 

The school district recently denied a similar request, saying that the courts would violate Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) guidelines, to which the schools must adhere. 

As pickleball is not an accepted sport under PIAA, the school district was concerned that it would make their courts invalid.

Therefore, the board decided that the next step would be to request that the high school gymnasium be opened up for pickleball as it already has existing pickleball lines on it. Individual members would have to get the proper permits to play but the board is hoping that this would be a satisfactory compromise.