The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

April 3, 2013

Portage Twp. reverses financial problems

PORTAGE — Portage Township is up $182,000 in net profit for the year following last year’s deficit of about $100,000.

Results of the township’s recent professional audit by accounting firm Wessel & Co. of Johnstown were returned Wednesday night at a board of supervisors meeting. The township posted its first surplus since it began working with the agency three years ago.

“2012 was a good year,” said Wessel partner Stephanie Stohon, who presented the results to the board.

Supervisor Rick Olshavsky said the township has always tried to be frugal. Recent cuts to management positions meant money spent on expenses and benefits could stay in the coffers.

“We’ve been saving for years,” he said. “We’re getting better at budgeting.”

He added that although funds flowing in from the addition of windmills in 2005 is a help, it can still be hard work to keep the township’s six mill rates.

The “clean” 2012 audit from Wessel & Co. will, according to Stohon, speak volumes to any financing agencies, such as PennVEST, that the township may deal with in the future. The reference was delivered in the form of an “opinion” statement in the audit paperwork.

“They would look at this first and you’d be on their ‘good list’,” Stohon said.

The supervisors were commended by resident Bob Brickley of Muenster, who kept notes during the meeting alongside Stohon’s presentation. The board also acknowledged the firm for its help in this and a recent fraud investigation.

“We wanted to thank you for helping us through our troubled times in the recent past,” Olshavsky said to Stohon.

Olshavsky is referring to the June 2012 ousting of township treasurer Lisa Flynn, who’s been accused of stealing about $20,000, which occurred over her tenure from 2007 to March of last year.

Wessel & Co. uncovered the thefts during last year’s audit.

“The township accrued a lot of extra expenses because of (Flynn),” said the newest supervisor, Jeffrey Kostan, who would not name the ex-treasurer as the investigation is still active.

Supervisors said they will now be looking to pay for new projects, specifically a new township garage on Solomon Road.

“You can’t take it with you,” Kostan said.

Supervisor Ben Selapack said he leans toward caution – a “down payment” on a future problem could save a future day.

“But (the township) is gonna be here a lot longer than we are,” he said with a chuckle.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • naacp1 VIDEO | NAACP honors Heritage Leaders

    Bertha Hill of downtown Johnstown was in her late 30s when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. From her birth and throughout her formative years, Jim Crow laws were in effect, barring her and other African-American citizens from becoming equal members of U.S. society.
    She now lives in a drastically different world.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • WWI mon28 100th anniversary of World War I

    No American veterans are still alive to provide firsthand accounts of the brutality and heroism displayed during World War I.

    July 27, 2014 4 Photos

  • coal1 Exporting pollution: U.S. energy producers sending dirty coal abroad

    As the Obama administration weans the U.S. off dirty fuels blamed for global warming, energy companies have been sending more of America’s unwanted energy leftovers to other parts of the world where they could create even more pollution.

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • Rising costs for pensions keep schools struggling

    Gov. Tom Corbett is ratcheting up pressure on the Legislature to reform the state’s pension system by focusing on how often school districts use tax increases to offset costs.

    July 27, 2014

  • camp cadet Recruits put through paces at Camp Cadet

    A row of young teens stood tall and attentive Sunday as their instructor paced past, barking out marching orders.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Luksik, Peg Independent hopefuls may widen gubernatorial field

    Just when Pennsylvania voters were getting used to the idea of a gubernatorial election showdown between Republican incumbent Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, other hopefuls may soon be joining the fray. Johnstown resident Peg Luksik, who twice ran for governor as the Constitutional Party nominee, knows what it's like.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Storm sparks reports of lightning strikes

    A fast-moving rainstorm generated reports of lightning strikes throughout parts of southern Cambria County early Sunday evening.

    July 27, 2014

  • pow28 Mount Olive church members reach out to those in need

    The members of Mount Olive United Methodist Church mark their faith by using a tape measure.
    The mission team of the Sidman area church uses tools such as tape measures to complete construction and repair projects to improve life for people in need and to help nonprofit organizations.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kernville Reunion will recall days gone by

    The 37th annual Kernville Reunion will start at noon Aug. 9 at Lorain Borough Park, 503 Green Valley St., and organizers are hopeful it’ll attract current and former area residents, especially people who attended Joseph Johns Junior High School.

    July 27, 2014

  • Scaife remembered for strong convictions

    At a weekend memorial service, publisher Richard Mellon Scaife was remembered by the archbishop of Washington as someone who had the courage to stand “for things that mattered.”

    July 27, 2014


What is the biggest key to reducing gun violence in Johnstown?

Tackling the area's drug problem.
Controlling folks moving into city housing.
Monitoring folks in treatment centers and halfway houses.
Tougher sentencing by the court system.
More police on the streets.

     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads