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Catharine Twp. Supervisors Consider Limitations of Budget

“It’s stupid the way it’s [the township] has been run,” Auditor Daryl Cole told the Catharine Township supervisors during the regular meeting on Thursday, Jan. 21.

“You haven’t had a tax increase in 20 years,” Cole added after township officials shot down Roadmaster Michael Fay’s request to put a bid in on a backhoe, because funds were not available.

Fay agreed, saying, “We have a real serious issue.”

Vice Chairman Ken Brenneman remarked that he was “apprehensive to raise taxes because Blair County recently has,” and that “I know that I like to look at different avenues rather than a tax increase.”

No further discussion was held on topic.

Marc Kifer and Dan Verbonitz, two residents of Catharine Township, attended the meeting to ask about last month’s surveys sent out to residents in the Yellow Springs area of the township about interest in connecting to the sanitary sewer system. Of the 29 surveys sent out to residents, 22 responses were mailed back. There were 14 yes (interested) and 8 not interested.

Chairman Heather Flaig remarked that “there were very strong no answers and very strong yes answers.”

Because of “enough interest,” as Brenneman said, the township is going to contact Keller Engineers for a cost estimate and map for the project that will require a study. Vice Chairman Brenneman made a motion to contact Keller Engineers regarding the matter with Chairman Flaig seconding, and the motion passed unanimously.

State Representative Jim Gregory (R-80th District) was present at the meeting to “re-introduce himself,” and to see what he could do for the township.

Rep. Gregory said he has a “good working relationship” with the township and hopes that continues. Rep. Gregory said he is on the agriculture committee and the labor and industry and the tourism committees in the Pa. state legislature. Vice Chairman Brenneman asked Rep. Gregory about funding for repairs for roads that are not covered by liquid fuels tax money from the state. Gregory promised to look into the issue.

In his roadmaster report, Michael Fay said one of his main goals this year was to work on and repair the Mt. Etna Furnace Road in the township.

“It’s a disgrace to be called a township road,” Fay said of the 1.2-mile road. The township supervisors said that they would look into the issue following receipt of liquid fuels funding.

A closed-door executive session was held following the meeting to discuss possible litigation matters.


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