2011-10-08 / News

Township has more money than it thought

By Scott Rawdon

UNION TOWNSHIP – Union Township Trustees really aren’t certain yet how much money is in the township’s accounts.

“As long as it’s up, not down,” said Amanda Township Fiscal Officer Melissa Tremblay who was hired to assess what Union Township needs to bring its accounting up to date. Tremblay is often hired as a consultant to townships and municipalities to organize their accounts and train clerks. Locally she’s assisted Thornville, Kirkersville, and the Village of Buckeye Lake, among others.

Tremblay believes the township actually has significantly more money that what’s officially recorded, although she won’t know an exact amount until after she’s reviewed what was recorded into the township’s accounting system each month this year. “They have more money than what’s in their computer,” she said. “It just seems like a lot of receipts weren’t put in.”

Tremblay anticipates reviewing all of the 2011 receipts by the end of this year, during which time she’ll also train township fiscal officer Jessica Slater, who was sworn into office Monday night. Slater is running for fiscal officer unopposed on the Nov. 8 ballot, so when Amanda Griffith tendered her resignation trustees decided to let Slater, who is John Slater’s sister-in-law, have an early start. John Slater abstained from vote when Jessica Slater was appointed.

Tremblay said she’ll review 2011 but doesn’t have the time to review previous years. So, John Slater said Bill McWilliams, owner of The Numbers Man LLC of Hebron, would review 2009 and 2010. Slater said he doesn’t know “with great detail” the condition of the township’s accounts yet. “We’re getting caught up,” he said.

Trustee Rick Black said he doesn’t envy Jessica Slater’s job. “She has the wonderful task of learning the (accounting) system,” he said. “I guess it has a pretty steep learning curve.”

Tremblay seemed confident the township’s accounts could become manageable. “It’ll work out,” she said.

In other township news, Black said McDonald Auto and Truck Repair mechanics are looking over the township’s front loader tractor, which has extensive rust damage after being used primarily to load salt into dump trucks during winter. “Brent McDonald is looking at it to see what it would take to put it into reliable condition,” he said. Black said the trustees would like for the tractor to last through this coming winter, at least.

Previously, John Slater said the tractor would cost $40,000 to $55,000 to replace. Should it require replacement, trustees discussed replacing the tractor with a backhoe, which has a loader bucket on the front and a digging bucket on the rear.

“At some point we’re going to have to (replace the rusty loader),” said Black. But, he said the trustees would like to put off that expense as long as possible.

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