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Mahoning Township hires firm to audit books of outgoing tax collector

Published January 09. 2014 05:00PM

Mahoning Township supervisors hired Kirk, Summa and Company unanimously last night to audit the books of outgoing township Tax Collector Richard Swarcheck to make sure everything is in order for the new tax collector.

The 5-0 vote mirrored a similar vote last month to perform the audit when it was believed the township needed to appoint a new tax collector to handle revenues for the fall of 2013 after Swarcheck resigned due to personal issues.

Swarcheck was able to return to the position and after the township petitioned the county court for permission, he was appointed to fill the last few weeks of his term which delayed the audit.

Since his term expired at the end of the year and newly elected tax collector Pauline Homm began her term on Jan. 1, it is common practice to audit the books. Supervisors approved the audit by Kirk, Summa and Company to take place on Jan. 20, at a cost not to exceed $2,000.

In other business, the township secured the professional services of Black Diamond Entertainment Company to refresh its website and update it as needed throughout the year at a rate of $44 per hour for content maintenance. The board will monitor the need to update it but it expects to refresh the site initially and then update it as needed at least once every few months.

BDEC created the website four years ago and has sporadically updated it each year, but the board decided it wants to add more regular maintenance and have directed secretary Natalie Haggerty to work with the company to keep the site refreshed as needed.

Also, on a 5-0 vote, the board hired Chris Connarty as a part-time police officer in the township.

In other business, the supervisors also discussed setting resolutions to allow the tax collector to set fees for services rendered as well as compensation guidelines. Solicitor Tom Nanovic recommended this to protect the tax collector and ensure that the fees are set according to regulations.

A recent case in Penn Forest township involved the tax collector running into problems because her fees were not set by that township's board, so Mahoning wants to take steps to prevent the same problems.

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