Rush Township is better prepared for emergencies now that it has a standby generator. And the township is also $12,500 richer after Thursday's meeting of the board of supervisors when a local industry stepped forward with financial support.

Karl H. Nolte, plant manager, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., Tamaqua, presented the township a check, accepted by Chairman Shawn Gilbert on behalf of the township.

"We at Air Products worked hard, hand-in-hand, with the township," said Nolte. "Now I'd like to present a check for $12,500 in support of work for the backup generator."

Nolte was accompanied by Thomas Gauntner, Air Products engineering and maintenance manager, and Randy Kalce, an Air Products employee who also serves as Mahanoy City fire chief.

The back-up generator is seen as important in the township's role during emergencies. Earlier this year, the township took a major step in emergency preparedness in when it unveiled its Emergency Operations and Management Center.

The center will be counted on during power outages, snow storms, tornadoes, hail storms, wind bursts and other natural disasters that have been known to hit the area.

The back-up generator will help police, fire officials and the Schuylkill County Emergency Management Agency during those times.

In the case of Air Products, the partnership with Rush Township is beneficial because it has paved the way for a site that can be utilized in case of an emergency at the plant.

In other action, the board responded to various complaints about an improvement program along Meadow Avenue, a water problem along Ryan Avenue due to run-off at Hamilton Street, and a property line dispute currently in litigation.

Resident Joyce Minehan voiced concern about recent actions of a part-time police officer and also expressed an opinion that police in Rush Township and Tamaqua Borough tend "to show too much power but not authority."

Minehan said she is not a confrontational person and is respectful of all, and simply wants to indicate that all others, including police, need to be the same.

Resident Pat Tracy spoke up and offered a character reference for Minehan, vouching for her integrity.

"She is a very good person and she raised her children good," said Tracy.

In another matter, resident Cathy Schimpf complimented the road crew over recent tree removal activities.

"They did a nice job and in a nice and orderly fashion," said Schimpf.

Sgt. Duane Frederick reported that the police brought in $4,436 in monies from the district magistrate and responded to 514 calls and incidents during that past month.

Frederick also issued an advisory to all township residents that a burn ban would take effect Thursday, April 19, at midnight until further notice.

In other matters, the board approved a motion for Adam Sinton to attend SFST class on April 20-22 in Nesquehoning with pay and to be reimbursed up to $10 per day for lunch.

Also approved: Elden Neifert, Chris Huegel, Dennis Rupert and Michael Zimmerman to attend flagger training class on May 31 in Schuylkill Haven, plus paid regular wages and mileage for one vehicle; a motion to advertise intent to apply for a recycling grant to purchase a wood chipper and leaf vacuum; motion to appoint Elden Neifert as road department supervisor and increase his pay rate to $16 per hour; motion to compromise in full all delinquent tax, penalty and interest due on a parcel known as American Legion Post 973.

Supervisor Bob Leibensperger announced that the township crew will provide dirt fill or cut wood to residents when those commodities are available due to projects and when requested by residents who happen to live nearby the project sites.

Supervisor Jeannine Motroni said that a recent letter to the editor published in the TIMES NEWS and titled 'Business as usual in Rush Township' pertained to the previous board and is not reflective of the current board.

"Writing an editorial (letter to the editor) is your prerogative but we ask that you have correct facts," she stated.