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Shade releases budget; auditor resigns

January 11, 2019

The 2019 Shade Township budget is now available for public inspection after the supervisors passed the $3.2 million spending plan last month without a tax increase.

A public meeting was held Dec. 30 to approve the final budget with a property tax rate of 3 mills.

In a past interview, Chairman Mike Muha said it has been a challenge keeping taxes steady ever since the Shade Landfill closed in 2013. While it was open, the landfill paid $200,000 to the township every year in tipping fees.

The township’s largest expenditures include $131,281 for public safety, $249,600 for road maintenance and $136,600 for miscellaneous expenditures.

In all, the supervisors expect the township will receive nearly $399,361 in taxes, including $31,865 for the fire protection fund.

The fund is distributed to Central City, Stoystown and Hooversville fire departments. Central City receives 80 percent of the money, while Stoystown and Hooversville each receive 10 percent.

Representatives from the township’s three fire departments attended the supervisors meeting Thursday because they never received the fire tax funds in 2017.

Muha said that the previous supervisors never disbursed the money, but the fire tax funds were properly dispersed in 2018.

“Our administration had nothing to do with that,” he said.

It is unclear when the 2017 funds will be paid, Muha added. He said the supervisors need to meet with the fire department officials to discuss it.

The supervisors also approved the purchase of a 2019 Ford Explorer police cruiser on Thursday. With lights, decals and other necessities, the cruiser will cost $35,634.02.

Supervisor Tom Holland said he would prefer that the township purchase a used and refurbished cruiser instead of a new one.

Supervisor Darrell Klink responded that the cruiser will be bought using liquid fuels money from the state, and, if the township doesn’t use that money, it will lose it forever.

The township receives about $51,000 in liquid fuels money from the state every year.

Also at the supervisors meeting Thursday, township auditor Susan Burket resigned. She is one of three township auditors. The empty seat will be filled by someone appointed by the supervisors.

Burket said at the meeting that she resigned because Muha was belligerent at an auditors meeting Tuesday.

Township solicitor Chris Robbins said that there was a disagreement at the meeting related to Muha’s salary as the township’s treasurer.

Muha and Robbins declined to release further details.

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