The majority of Mahoning Township supervisors approved an ordinance at this week's meeting to increase the indebtedness of the township by $150,000 by assuming a loan to provide financing to construct a pole building on the property for the road crew.
Supervisor Travis Steigerwalt opposed the motion which carried on a 4-1 vote. There was no discussion on this vote.
While he did not state a specific reason for not supporting the motion, Steigerwalt has said in the past that he was in favor of a comprehensive solution and he was concerned that building a garage to house the road crew and their equipment, would leave little money to deal with the renovation or construction of a new office building.
Another low interest loan from the Department of Community and Economic Development was discussed later in the meeting. Solicitor Tom Nanovic asked the board if it had any outstanding debt as the process was different for obtaining the DCED's $50,000 loan if the township had more than $125,000 in debt.
"As far as I know, the only indebtedness we have at this time are the police vehicles," said Chairperson John Wieczorek. Nanovic said, "If we have less than the $125,000 in indebtedness, we can obtain this loan through a resolution; otherwise we need to follow a different procedure."
One area of concern was whether the township guarantees the indebtedness of the sewer authority that serves the township. Supervisor Bruce Steigerwalt said he thought the sewer authority was formed to alleviate that burden from the township. Nanovic explained that even though the authority is a separate entity the township could still have a liability.
Wieczorek and Nanovic said they would look into the issue, but Wieczorek also believed there was no indebtedness on the authority's behalf.
The board also authorized Secretary-Treasurer Natalie Haggerty to sign the paperwork to secure the $150,000 loan from Jim Thorpe National Bank at a rate of 2.49 percent. This motion carried 3-1 with Travis again being the lone dissenter. Prior to this vote however, Supervisor Frank Ruch left the meeting due to another obligation.
The building project is progressing. Supervisors Bruce Steigerwalt and Ruch met with the township engineer and their architect last Friday to review the plans at that point in time.
Steigerwalt said one of the tricky parts is the township's property is actually recorded on four different deeds.
"The engineer suggested we combine them, but it would take too much time to do a reverse subdivision right now," Steigerwalt said. He said the multiple deeds is not going to stop the project, but it just needs to be considered as they determine where to place and orient the building.
One of the sketches has already been sent to Carl Faust for his input and approval. Steigerwalt did mention that the concrete floor being designed may be overly strengthened and that it could be a bit less complex in the reinforcement.