The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

October 4, 2012

County aiding arena

Cambria asked to pay bills for utilities, management fees

EBENSBURG — At a time when Cambria County is facing a cash-flow crunch, it is forwarding tens of thousands of dollars to the War Memorial Arena to pay bills, county Controller Ed Cernic Jr. said Thursday.

Cernic said that he is concerned that requests for more money will push the total past the $140,000 that was allocated by the county for the arena for 2012.

Last week, a check for $30,000 was cut to pay utility bills, Cernic said. That was the first payment this year, he said.

Then, this week, the War Memorial Authority asked for an additional $60,000 for what initially was described as utility


When Cernic inquired about the request, he was told the $30,000 was used for payroll, with the additional money needed for bills.

Cambria, as is usual at this time of year, has a cash crunch. Revenues are slow to come into the county coffers, and payment is being delayed on some bills, Cernic said.

Dean Gindlesperger, authority chairman, said the authority is not in financial straits and that the money was needed to pay SMG, the manager of the War Memorial Arena in Johnstown and the North Central Recreation Center in Ebensburg.

“Summer months are slow (in revenues) without hockey, and this is for SMG for managing the facility,” he said.

President Commissioner Douglas Lengenfelder, noting that none of the county’s allocation had been paid prior to a week ago, said, “Nobody should be surprised that we aren’t asked for the $50,000 additional (on the $140,000) allocation).”

As for reports that the arena may be facing hefty financial obligations, Lengenfelder said, “Nobody knows. That’s why we’re doing an audit. We want to know exactly where they are. I want to see what a CPA says. It’s too early to say.”

At the authority’s previous meeting, the commissioners, who were in attendance, indicated the county would be willing to pay for an audit to give all parties involved an idea of where the arena and recreation center stand financially.

That audit, Lengenfelder said, will provide a “baseline” for when a new general manager – to be named by SMG – takes over.

In early September, Mike Silva resigned as manager, and Tom Grenell was named acting GM

Both Lengenfelder and George Arcurio III, authority treasurer, said that the audit also will be useful as the authority  considers whether to extend the management contract with SMG.

“We need to know what it will take to fund the place and keep it going,” Arcurio said.

SMG Worldwide was retained in July 2009 under a five-year contract, which called for an annual $325,000 management fee over the first three years, plus 15 percent of any profit from operations. In the fourth and fifth year, it is to be paid $10,000 a month, plus the consumer price index percentage and an incentive fee.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat print edition.

Click here to subscribe to The Tribune-Democrat e-edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Halfway house inmates can ease back into society

    Prison life can be a time warp.
    When inmates are locked away – for months, years, decades – society moves forward: Technology evolves, major events occur, pop culture changes. From a personal perspective, families and friends live their lives: weddings, funerals, graduations, births, retirements. All the while, criminals bide their time, existing in a regimented world of cement walls and metal bars.
    Almost all of them eventually rejoin society, though.

    April 19, 2014

  • Crime board took aim at house

    Johnstown’s unemployment rate is around 8 percent.
    One-third of the city’s population lives in poverty.
    Burglaries and assaults significantly increased between 2010 and 2012. There is a thriving illegal trade in heroin and prescription drugs.
    Given those conditions, it can be challenging for Johnstown Community Corrections Center residents to find jobs when living in the facility or to avoid falling back into a criminal lifestyle upon their release.

    April 19, 2014

  • Homicides linked to center

    Three homicides that took place in Johnstown last year involved either a suspect or victim who previously resided in the Community Corrections Center.
    Police Chief Craig Foust confirmed the name of one victim, who spent almost two months in the facility on Washington Street during 2007, a time period verified by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

    April 19, 2014

  • bachota Volunteers helping to spruce up community

    Walls and ceilings inside the Cambria County Library look clean and bright with fresh new coats of paint on them.
    The work was recently done by inmates from the Johnstown Community Corrections Center.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • alanna Hartzok targets income disparity

    Alanna Hartzok described herself as being a conservative progressive.
    The Franklin County resident said she is in favor of conserving environmental resources, education opportunities, Social Security and Medicare, while wanting to progressively address wealth inequality, health care and taxation.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Schools rise to leadership challenge

    Forest Hills and Cambria Heights high school students put the spirit of healthy competition toward a good cause and picked up some lessons in leadership along the way.

    April 19, 2014

  • KATEY LADIKA Student’s photos win awards

    A Forest Hills High School junior has captured several awards in a high school arts and writing contest that has identified greats such as Truman Capote and Andy Warhol.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Siehl JIM SIEHL | Music to my ears

    Seldom has $15 produced such a high level of entertainment as it did a few weeks ago when I found myself in the second row just left of center keeping back the tears once again during my third live performance of “Les Miserables.”

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michele Bender Bye, bye, Easter birdies

    Animals fascinated my mom. Riding the train between Johnstown and Philly, she saw horses, pigs, sheep, cows … a Mattel See ’n Say of farm critters.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill Eggert Columnist Photo Travelogue of terror features Johnstown area

    A historic week will surround the venerable Silver Drive-In come the beginning of May.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos


Would you like to see the Johnstown Community Corrections Center remain open after its lease runs out on Oct. 11, 2015?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads