The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

January 15, 2013

Paint awaits state OK for loan

David Hurst

— Paint Township needs to clear only one more hurdle, state approval, to get long-awaited loan money in hand to pay off last year’s debts.

And township Supervisor Joe Huff Jr. said the board has asked state Rep. Frank Burns to reach out to the state Department of Community and Economic Development, the lone remaining agency that must give its blessing to Paint’s borrowing plan, to try to make that happen soon.

“It’s been a week since we got approval from the court,” said Huff. “We know (DCED) is busy ... and that our priorities are just one of many things they have to deal with. But we’re hoping we’ll hear something from them soon.”

Saddled with a six-figure shortfall, Paint Township voted to accept a $350,000 loan offer from 1st Summit Bank in December.

The township needs it to pay off outstanding bills, including a nearly $90,000 tax anticipation note that was due for repayment Dec. 31, and because of years of deficit spending.

The township board voted to raise millage six mills and dedicate 4 mills to pay off the loan – an increase that, tied to the borrowing, required special court approval.

Somerset Judge David Klementik approved the move last week.

Paint Township supervisors have been preparing for the funds since.

Huff said separate bank accounts are being created with 1st Summit.  One will be dedicated for the loan money. Another is being created for tax revenue that will be generated later this year from the debt service millage. The board will then tap into that fund, starting in the summer, to make payments on the $350,000 loan.

The township will need some of the funds for day-to-day expenses until early spring when tax revenue begins coming in. A few township employees, including police Chief Rick Skiles, remain on layoff this month while the township awaits loan money.

Skiles continues to oversee the department at no pay.

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