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Layoffs used to balance the East Penn Township budget

Published January 01. 2010 05:00PM

The East Penn supervisors' end-of-year meeting on Wednesday began with a moment of silence for Carbon County Judge David Addy who passed away this month.

It ended with layoffs that were used to balance the budget. Supervisor William Schwab said Mary Anne Leavitt is laid off from her combined positions of permit officer, zoning officer and township secretary. That position is abolished.

Gary Pruden is laid off as road foreman with the position abolished.

Nathan Scherer is laid off as treasurer to be replaced with an independent contractor to provide accounting services. All layoffs are effective Jan. 3.

Health insurance will terminate Jan. 31 The township will save $24,000 in insurance money, said Schwab after the meeting.

Laid-off workers do not have to report for work on Dec. 31 but will be paid and will receive holiday pay.

"It is not something we wanted to do," said Schwab.

Following the meeting, resident Walter Zlomsowitch said, "(Supervisor) Bill Schwab wrote a letter to the editor in the TIMES NEWS saying the township was doing good, but he is balancing the budget on the backs of the most important employees of the township."

Resident Nancy Blaha raised her hand to speak but was not given the opportunity. Schwab said the public comment period was closed. Supervisors normally will accept comments during discussion but Chairman Gary Kuehner asked for a motion of adjournment.

Blaha told the TIMES NEWS she wanted to know who was going to do the work. Schwab, hearing her, said it is up to the new board on Jan. 4.

In other business: Blaha said something was being taken out of the proposed Lehigh Asphalt quarry site on Hollow Road.

Supervisor Cory Smith said the annual 500 tons of material was being taken. He said he talked to the truck drivers.

Blaha said other years the company got waivers for the requirement from the Department of Environmental Protection. The trucks were over the 10-ton weight limit on Hollow Road, Blaha said.

Smith said the township does not have scales to check the weight and the state police will not enforce township ordinances.

Zlomsowitch said Lehigh Asphalt's entire permit was revoked by the Environmental Hearing Board. Either you enforce the weight limit or not.

Resident Joe Ehritz said Lehigh Asphalt is supposed to remove 500 tons of stone and were taking overburden. In his opinion the company was trying to aggravate residents.

Ehritz said he hoped the new board applies for as many grants as possible because it is "our tax dollars coming back to us."

Duane Schleicher requested release of a bond with Neffs Bank for work on the west side of Germans Road where swales were to be placed. Schwab made a motion to release the money but Solicitor Jim Nanovic said by the agreement the engineer was to inspect the work before it was released. Since there is a second bond for $30,000, the release was granted. The money is available for Carbon Engineering to do the inspection, which Schleicher is to pay.

Portland Contractors was named sewer operators. The amount budgeted to pay the company, $5,000, is barely enough but payments will not begin until March or April and so it should be sufficient.

Nancy Carlson requested and received an extension until April 30 to fill in a foundation on her Thomas Jefferson Road property.

The 2010 budget was approved with a .25 mill increase in taxes to bring the millage to 6.135 mills.

Schwab presented Kuehner with a clock plaque for his years on the board, 1996-2009.

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