New Castle News

October 11, 2013

Neshannock supervisors request check’s transfer

Nancy Lowry
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — The Neshannock Township supervisors this week requested a $292,230 check, held since spring to satisfy a developer’s lien.

The payment, from the Lawrence County Economic Development Corp., has been held in an escrow account in the office of Meyer, Unkovic and Scott of Pittsburgh for the township sewer department since late March.

Supervisors Ed Stevens and Ralph Sheen said the payment satisfied the municipal lien filed against the development corporation for Millennium Park. The Pittsburgh attorneys holding the check represent the township on Millennium Park matters and the Karilla Construction lawsuit.

Karilla, hired to install part of the Millennium sewer line, defaulted before the project was completed.

Supervisor Joe Gierlach voted in favor of transferring the money to the township’s capital expenditure and bond redemption fund. However, he said, he believes more money is owed by the development corporation.

Stevens said the delay in receiving the funds was because of the “lawyer-to-lawyer legal issues” that had to be worked out.

“Their lawyer provided the check to our lawyers,” he explained. “The check had to clear, the auditors had to be notified and then everyone had to determine which account the check will be deposited to.”

Stevens said the transfer was requested this week because township solicitor Lou Perrotta urged them to take official action to request the check.

“Now he will notify them that official action has been taken.”

In May, Stevens and Sheen said a $293,230 check, received in March from the development corporation, had satisfied the lien placed on Millennium Park in 2006 by a former board of supervisors. The lien was imposed to recoup some of the $11 million the township had spent to install and upgrade public sewer lines.

It was to be satisfied before development proceeded.

Gierlach said he had not been a party to the agreement by Stevens and Sheen to accept the check to satisfy the Millennium Park lien. He said the deal — regarding the check and the lien — had not been publicly announced until Stevens mentioned it in May.

“I was told that after the other two reached the agreement (with the development corporation) attorneys asked what to do with the check. It could be given to the township or held in escrow. They said to hold it.”

Gierlach said he never agreed the lien is satisfied, but “I’ve said all along if it is satisfied, the check should come to the township.

“I don’t know why this has taken so long,” he said after the meeting. “I was told our solicitor advised them to get the check before Ralph (Sheen) goes out of office.”

Sheen did not seek reelection. His term as supervisor ends Dec. 31.

The supervisors also recognized township resident Bruce Anderson.

Anderson located Betty Richardson the evening of Sept. 5 after she had walked away from her son’s Catalina Drive home the night before. Richardson, clad in a nightgown and jacket, spent the night in the woods.

Anderson, on his ATV, had joined volunteer firefighters, police and others searching for the woman.

He said he and neighbor Lauren Hasson had located Richardson in the woods behind Hasson’s house.

“Thanks to your actions, you turned potential tragedy to a happy ending,” Stevens said in presenting a proclamation to Anderson.

Sheen also commended Anderson. “We thought you should be recognized.”

At their meeting this week, the supervisors also:

•Accepted a $16,800 bid from Advanced Tress of Youngstown for roof repairs to Hutchison Center.

•Agreed to a five-year lease for a copier from Toshiba.

•Hired four temporary, seasonal employees for Hess Ice Rink, to be paid $7.25 per hour. They are Erika Rosedale, Tara O’Connor, William Gilleland and Antoinette Attardi.

•Ordained the roads of the Villas at Autumn Hills subdivision. They include Eleanor Drive Extension, Zinfandel Lane, Riesling Street, Chardonnay Street and Cabernet Drive. All will be accepted as public roads and maintained by the township.

•Adopted an ordinance regarding the placement of traffic control and parking signs.