CLEARFIELD – Gigi Gearheart attended the Lawrence Township Supervisors’ meeting yesterday and asked Chairman Randy Powell about any questions he still had regarding possible consolidation with Clearfield Borough after meeting with consolidation committee members last month.
Powell responded, “I don’t feel we made any progress,” and said they talked a lot, but he felt they didn’t get anywhere. One concern he has is if they are able to make some of the decisions regarding the new municipality, why not all before the new council would be seated.
He is especially concerned with a deficit of $280,000, which may be incurred if the tax structure would change. Powell explained he was told that equipment could be sold, but he doubted that would be enough to cover the deficit
He also reiterated concern about the fire halls, noting the township gives the three fire halls $8,500 per year, which doesn’t even cover the electricity in the Clearfield fire hall.
The budget for Clearfield is $114,000 per year while for the three township stations it is $153,000 altogether, and the borough pays the bills for their station.
Powell is concerned that, if nothing changes regarding the funding for the fire companies, it will be an additional burden on the proposed municipality.
After some additional discussion, Powell stated he didn’t want to step into something without all the facts. He said he also didn’t want to wait three to four years to find out how much debt there will be.
“I’m done discussing this,” he said. “I’ve given them plenty of opportunities to talk to me.”
When asked about the police pension fund deficit, Secretary Barb Shaffner said they will be addressing it this fall when they make the minimum mandatory payment. Powell added they hope to pay an additional $100,000 at that time, depending on what the township’s financial situation is at that point.
Supervisor Dan Mitchell reported candidates were interviewed for two open part-time as needed police officer positions and recommended hiring two candidates for the jobs, which was approved.
Powell asked about the compost site and what the property lines are, and suggested the township have it surveyed.
He also asked about putting a gate on the cul-de-sac in the industrial park where people have been dumping garbage. Supervisor Bill Lawhead said if the road is part of Liquid Fuels, then they cannot put a gate on it.
The officers at Hyde Fire Co. are discussing a plan to acquire a new tanker. Currently they are looking at selling the tower apparatus they have and purchasing a used 100-foot quint truck, a truck with water hose, pump, tank, aerial apparatus and ground ladders.
They expect they can get about $350,000 for the tower and could get a quint for about $100,000 to $150,000 and the township could put the rest of the money towards a tanker.
The current tower truck is only 75 feet, and with taller buildings like Graystone being built in, the township the fire company could use a longer ladder. Powell asked the fire company to provide hard numbers for the next meeting.
The supervisors also approved locating a fire hydrant in the area of Neeper and Haney streets.