Minutes of the Special meeting of the Rush Township of Supervisors – January 22, 2010

Rush Township Building
Hometown, PA  18252

Minutes of the Special Meeting of the Rush Township Board of Supervisors

The special meeting of the Rush Township Board of Supervisors was called to order by Chairman Stephen W. Simchak at 9 o’clock a.m.  Those in attendance were Vice-Chairman Shawn Gilbert; Supervisor Robert Leibensperger; Corporal Duane Frederick and Secretary/Treasurer Terri Conville.  There were approximately twenty-eight people in attendance and one reporter.  The Pledge of Allegiance was then recited.

Public Participation
William J. Sanchez, Jr. – stated that upon review of the budget he noticed there is only $500.00 in storm water piping and $25,000 to do the roads.   He wanted to know the specifics of the proposed 1.5 mill increase for infrastructure and roads.  Ms. Conville stated that our Solicitor told her to do up a budget sheet for this account for infrastructure.  As the tax monies come in, it will be deposited to that account.  Sanchez also stated that the amount for the line item for assistant treasurer is zero and the amount for a part time clerk is $21,000. Sanchez wanted to know if there is going to be an assistant treasurer.  Simchak stated not at this time.  Sanchez wanted to know what Ms. Skripnek’s duties would be and if she would be bonded for the same amount as Terri Conville.   Simchak stated Ms. Skripnek will be on a thirty day probationary period and he will check with the bonding company to see what has to be done.   Sanchez wanted to know if more money was put in the bonding line.  Ms. Conville stated no.

Pat Tracy- questioned why there is a tax increase when Supervisor Leibensperger said to her he was not going to raise them and there is a carry-over in the budget of $328,000.00.  Leibensperger explained to Mrs. Tracy that he would do what is necessary to maintain the township even if that meant raising the taxes.  Leibensperger asked Mrs. Tracy if she came into the township to review the budget because she would have seen a complete sewer and storm water project that is going on in this budget.   Leibensperger expressed his opinion that past administrations did not handle the finances properly.

Marion Lazur – stated she takes exception to the statement made by Supervisor Leibensperger about the prior administration.  Lazur noted that the Board was very careful about managing the money.   The prior Board did not spend the money on people to attend conventions for three days and things not needed.  Lazur feels the Board should wait to raise the taxes and the sewer rates until the economy of the country is better than it is now.

Mr. Boyer – wanted to know what happened to the $900,000 that was in the Hometown Sewer Fund that Morgan’s left. Leibensperger explained that part of it went to pay for EDU rates.  Mr. Boyer asked why a Tamaqua High School student could not do the web page instead of paying all that money to a company.  Supervisor Leibensperger stated the person needs to be bonded and maintain it from any computer hackers.

Mr. Shamonsky – wanted clarification about the sewer lines that went into Meadow Avenue.  Supervisor Leibensperger explained that this area was looked at by our new engineering company, Alfred Benesch.  Leibensperger explained that there is ground water coming from the sewer drains.

Two Residents wanted to know why we need a web page.  Leibensperger stated the office has gotten many records request forms since the new Right- to- Know Law was passed.  The new web page would have all this information on it.  All new government rules need to be followed, but there is no money.  Leibensperger stated funding for townships was also cut by the government.

George Gerhard – wanted to know where the funds were taken from for the purchase of the Fortunato property.  Ms. Conville stated most of the funds came from the Hometown Sewer Investment Fund.  Lazur stated she wanted to get the money from the same place as we got the loan from the building, but the other two Supervisors would not go along with her.   Past Supervisor Sanchez stated that the original plan was to buy the Fortunato property, sell the sewer building behind the Hometown Fire Company and move the sewer up to this building.  The plan was to have everything together and eventually have the payment of sewer bills here.   Mr. Gerhard wanted to know if the purchase was legal at the time.  Ms. Conville stated it was approved by our Solicitor at that time, Mark Semanchick.

Mr. Boyer – wanted to know what happened to the plan of having the sewer department located in the upstairs area of the new municipal building.

Mr. Tracy- what is going to happen to the Fortunato property that cost $92,000 to purchase?   Chairman Simchak noted that it will probably get demolished and used for future expansion.

Mr. Shamonsky – what is the price per hour for the attorneys with the Robbie Romanick hearing.  Ms. Conville noted it is $125.00 per hour for our attorneys.

Tom Klein – of Ben Titus Road – what is he getting for his tax dollars because where he lives he gets nothing at all. He also questioned why Supervisor Leibensperger told him at the voting polls that he wouldn’t raise taxes.  Mr. Klein stated it sounds like the people in Washington, trying to blame past administrations.  Supervisor Leibensperger explained the need to raise them now to fix the roads and get things done.  Leibensperger stated Bill McMullen’s estimate to fix the roads would be about fifteen million dollars.  Leibensperger stressed the need for everyone to work together and to give the Board their ideas.  Leibensperger stated that he will sit down with anyone and explain the future developmental plans for the township.

George Pinkey – suggested to the Supervisors to keep a mileage log book for all the vehicles and let the Supervisors approve them.  He stressed the need for continuity in government and questioned the change in engineering firms.  The Board should get a good one and stick with it.  Mr. Pinkey also expressed his concerns about barring individuals from public meetings and feels the Civil Liberty has a different view on behavior at a meeting.

A resident