New Castle News

February 11, 2014

Neshannock supervisors reopen, adopt new budget

Nancy Lowry
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — The Neshannock Township supervisors this week amended their 2014 budget to reflect changes made at the organizational meeting in January.

The new $7.23 million budget remains balanced, but transfers funds within the spending plan. It does not affect taxes or sewer rates paid by residents.

The changes were approved by a 2-1 vote with supervisor Ed Stevens opposing. Supervisors Steve Demofonte and Joe Gierlach voted approval.

Transfers include:

•$47,000 from the capital improvements account, initially earmarked for a new salt shed, to fund the salary of new director of public works, created Jan. 6 and filled by Gierlach.

•$6,000 from the stenographer’s salary — which had been eliminated from the budget — and $1,000 from supervisors’ hospitalization/benefits for the salary of  secretary/treasurer Leslie Bucci.

•$15,000 from supervisors’ benefits to employee benefits. Gierlach, who already receives benefits as a supervisor, now receives the same benefits as a township employee.

•$47,000 will be earmarked from a $100,000  unanticipated  tax payment received for 2013, to be used for a new salt shed. The remaining $53,000 will be split between the road and sewer departments.

The adjusted budget was on public display at the township building from Jan. 27 until its adoption Monday. Only one township resident went in to look at the plan.

 “I don’t agree with the budget, don’t agree with how you have changed it and don’t support it,” Stevens said prior to his “no” vote.

He said he has requested but has not received Gierlach’s job description and other information considered at the Jan. 7 township auditor’s meeting. The auditors have set Gierlach’s salary for the new post.

Gierlach said he and Demofonte believe their actions will  move the township forward, away from negative publicity generated over the past four years.

“We are seeing a lot of opportunities and construction going on now,” he said.

He thanked Bucci for her work on the spending plan revisions.