The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local 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
Local News
  • foust_25 Teen shot in Oakhurst

    A 16-year-old New Jersey boy was taken to Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center on Thursday after being shot three times in the Oakhurst section of Johnstown.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Audit: City overspent by $700G in 2013

    Legacy costs contributed significantly to the city of Johnstown coming up $689,000 short in its core services funding during 2013.

    July 24, 2014

  • Kuzma, jonathan Guilty plea in hammer death

    The Johnstown man who authorities said killed his father with a hammer last year pleaded guilty Wednesday to criminal homicide, authorities said.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • quecreek rescue Events to mark anniversary of Quecreek rescue

    When word spread that nine Quecreek miners were trapped underground in July 2002, Bill Arnold’s dairy farm quickly became the rescue effort’s ground zero.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huger, Stephen Accused Hornerstown shooter will stand trial

    A Johnstown man will stand trial in connection with a July 12 shooting in the Hornerstown section of the city.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tribune Treasure!

    July 24, 2014

  • Board names Zahorchak’s successor

    The Greater Johnstown school board at a special meeting Thursday named a superintendent to replace the retiring superintendent, rehired its last business manager and approved other administrative appointments.

    July 24, 2014

  • Pasquerilla, Mark Pasquerilla recognized as arts patron

    First lady Susan Corbett announced Thursday from the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, Pa., that Mark Pasquerilla of Johnstown has earned the Patron Award from the 2014 Governor’s Awards for the Arts.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ebensburg gets ready to party

    Party down with a shutdown.
    Downtown Shutdown, a street party featuring music and food, will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday in downtown Ebensburg.

    July 24, 2014

  • ROTARY Local Rotary Club earns recognition

    The Rotary Club of Johnstown was named Outstanding Large Club of the Year in District 7330, which serves 42 Rotary Clubs in seven counties in southwest Pennsylvania, at the Rotary District 7330 and District 7300 Joint Conference that was held June 26 through 29 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo


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
House Ads