UNION TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS Early layoff plans receive no support

A supervisor said laying off park workers would save enough money to pay for a traffic light.
NEW CASTLE -- A suggestion to lay off workers early to save money was ignored when Union Township supervisors met Thursday.
Supervisor Steve Galizia told the other supervisors that if the township continues at the same pace, the road department will be $60,000 to $80,000 over budget by year's end. He said that since the drought has reduced the need for mowing, the two employees whose main job is grass mowing at Scotland Meadows Park should be laid off.
The park workers are generally laid off during the winter, anyway, Galizia pointed out, adding that an earlier layoff could avoid the necessity for the department to make up the deficit from the general fund.
But supervisor and roadmaster Kevin Guinaugh said, "I know it looks that way every year. But it comes out OK after the layoffs."
He added there is plenty of other work for the employees such as cleaning ditches and pipe work. "We've never run into trouble," he said. "We don't have a money problem."
But Galizia pointed out that the township doesn't have $70,000 to put up a turn signal to relieve a traffic hazard at Scotland Lane and U.S. Route 224. The layoff could save about enough money to pay for the traffic light, he said.
Supervisor Chairman Ralph Nuzzo interjected at this point, "We are in good financial shape right now. Let's go on to the next item."
Paving bid: Supervisors unanimously accepted the $137,227 bid of Youngblood Paving, Wampum, which they said was the low bid received for the annual paving program. The other bidders and amounts were not available Thursday night.
They have decided to purchase a Ford Crown Victoria for the police department under a state group purchasing plan. It will cost about $25,000.
They also agreed to pay half the cost of a $1,873 computer for the township tax collector. The other half will be paid by the Union Area School District.
Keith Kuttesch, a resident, asked whether developer Angelo Medure will have to pay for damage his construction trucks are doing to Winter Road due to the construction of two large apartment developments there. He said he feels Medure should pay for part of the damage to the road.
Nuzzo said the township has delayed paving that section of Winter Road until completion of the project because of the anticipated damage.
"This man put $25 million into the township with no abatement," he said of Medure. "He's doing us a favor."
Galizia said he is concerned over possible further damage to the road once the paving project is completed. Nuzzo said Medure told him he would pay for any damage to the road once it is paved.
Galizia also objected to paying $1,824 to the city of New Castle, the balance for the year's transit service fee.
He said he did not remember a contract for the bus service ever being acted on by supervisors although Guinaugh said it was.
Supervisors agreed to let the Twisted Pistons Car Club and the Union Township Volunteer Fire Department have a car show Sept. 15 in Scotland Meadows Park.

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