Liberty trustees OK additional roads employeeTweet
By Sarah Lehr
Trustees voted 2-1 Wednesday to add a full-time employee to the road department.
They will need to vote again to appoint someone to the position once that person is selected.
Fiscal Officer Steve Shelton has budgeted about $50,000 annually, including benefits, for the new road department employee.
There are four full-time road employees, which includes one worker dedicated to maintaining cemeteries and parks during the summer.
By contract, the road department is allowed to use only part-timers once the department has at least five full-time employees, senior foreman Gino Bidinotto said. The upcoming employee will bring the number to five full-timers.
Trustee Jodi Stoyak opposes hiring another full-time worker, arguing the money should instead go directly toward resurfacing projects.
Bidinotto said it is difficult to maintain the township’s roads with such low staffing levels. Trustee Chairman Stan Nudell agreed and said the majority of complaints he receives from residents pertain to roads.
“It is our No. 1 problem in the township,” Nudell said.
Steve Shelton has projected the road department fund will spend $744,800 in 2017 and close the year with a $39,449 positive balance.
Shelton also noted the general fund is going in the “right direction.” At the end of 2016, that fund was $155,341 in the red.
Shelton has projected that deficit will shrink to negative $149,129 by the end of 2017 and negative $92,459 by the end of 2018. Shelton attributes the expected improvements to an estimated $24,000 in tow yard revenue to benefit the general fund each year.
The general fund is the most important fund because it can be used to bolster other funds.
The township has been in state-designated fiscal caution since 2013 due to improper fund transfers.
In other business, trustees hired James Marco as a full-time police officer. Marco is on the roster for a one-year probationary period and will earn $15.28 an hour. He is replacing Steve Shimko, a captain, who will retire Aug. 31.