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Bookkeeping error discussed by Towamensing Twp. officials

Published September 07. 2010 05:00PM

Accountants who were doing an audit for Towamensing Township found a certificate of desposit in the amount of $140,000 unlisted at the township but held with the Jim Thorpe Bank.

Glenn Beers questioned the CD during the Sept. 2 Towamensing supervisors meeting.

Resident Guy Seifert asked Solicitor Tom Nanovic at what point a failing (in bookkeeping) becomes criminal since it involved a lot of money.

Nanovic said there were no allegations by the auditors that anything criminal was involved - that there is no money missing even though the bookkeeping may not have been correct.

Supervisor Penny Kleintop said it was of concern to the accountants that not everything was on the books. They brought in a consultant to go over the garbage accounts which had been found to be inaccurate.

Garbage collections that came in were correctly placed in the garbage account. The entire garbage account is being reworked in QuickBooks.

Kleintop said the township should continue to have professional auditors and that the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors recommends it.

Beers asked if work at the salt shed, to keep runoff from crossing onto the Beers property, was complete. Supervisor Rodney George said it will not be finished until spring because some settling is expected. The water is being drained into seepage pits.

Beers asked about $173,000 in architectural fees for the new building. Supervisor Rodney George said a hold was put on the work, but everything in the building is designed.

The architects told Beers they were pointed in the direction of a building that looks like a lodge with green elements so it could be eligible for a PSATS award.

When asked about the siren at the fire company being reactivated, Supervisor Tom Newman said a siren company will be contacted for a siren to be used only in serious emergencies. It could be installed at the township building.

The question of permits for work by PPL was raised. Last month Nanovic said they, as a utility, it does not need permits but did not know if that included driveways, setbacks and temporary construction trailers.

Earl Beers said he's still seeking a definition for extraction. His moving of dirt from one place on his property to another was considered a violation and went through the courts to the state level, even though the Conservation District and Department of Environmental Protection said it was not extraction.

He said other people are removing dirt to sell including some bought by Rodney George. Kleintop said she would get him a definition. She said she thought he had been given the definition.

Surveyor Rudy Wolff said the Kuehner farm was to provide five acres to Don and Elaine George in a boundary adjustment. The list of 11 requirements provided by Engineer Ron Tirpak was so long it would have cost thousands of dollars and years of time to complete.

A waiver for the requirement was granted and the plan was approved. Wolff said an ordinance was needed to cover boundary adjustments because more will be coming up.

Towamensing had a "good" meeting with Lower Towamensing about the regional comprehensive plan. Membership in a plan moves the municipality up on the grant list and both bodies already wanted to revamp their zoning.

Angela Farrell of Lower Towamensing and Roy Christman are working on the implementation agreement.

In other business:

• Nesquehoning was approved to be part of the joint appeals board for the Universal Construction Code.

• George Karas, chair of the zoning hearing board, said the variance-special exception for Blue Mountain Community Church was approved.

• Planners were annoyed that a letter they submitted was termed "hearsay," It would have required a planner with no connection to the plan to attend the meeting and present the letter as evidence. Seifert, a planner, was annoyed that Zoning Solicitor George Dydynsky read the letter before terming it hearsay.

• An audit said the real estate tax records, kept by tax collector Mary Beers, were impeccable.

• Dick Bieling was appointed an alternate on the historical commission.

• A subdivision and land development ordinance workshop is set for Sept. 16, 7 p.m.

• Johnson Lane, Stable Road, Strohls Valley Road, the Hazelton property, James Street, Michael Lane, Lake View and Flora Circle were gone over with Tirpak. Michael Lane and Hazelton are not ready for remediation but will be.

• Objections were raised to listing local artists on the township web site. It was tabled.

• Gary Bruch resigned after 10 years on the planning commission. He is leaving the area. Supervisors had a plaque to present to him, but he was unable to attend.

• The county HazMat plan is available for review by the public.

• The township believes it can get Pennsylvania Emergency Management money for last winter's snow removal.

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