The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

June 18, 2013

Paint Twp. recalling chief, other workers

David Hurst

PAINT TOWNSHIP — Paint Township plans to bring the last of its laid-off workers, including the township police chief, back to work July 1.

But supervisors said the move was mainly made out of necessity and that the department itself, while apparently within its 2013 budget, still faces an uncertain future.

“Chief (Rick) Skiles has graciously continued to volunteer his time for quite some time now to oversee this department while laid off ... but a lot of things in that office have fallen behind and need done. It’s gotten to that point,” Supervisor Joseph Huff said.

The township’s police budget was penned anticipating Skiles would be on the payroll all year, even though the veteran policeman has been laid off since fall.

Financial reports show the department carried a $21,380 deficit through May, which Huff said is primarily due to one-time costs including insurance payments that were paid in January.

Supervisors have said that figure, which was higher earlier this year, is expected to dwindle in the months ahead.

Huff described the department through May as “on track” with its 2013 budget but noted the township is giving auditing firm Barnes & Saly its income and expense numbers for a second look, and together they are trying to get a clearer picture for the police department’s financial outlook for the rest of the year.

Supervisor Dave Blough confirmed he will return to work as roadmaster July 1 as summer road work increases.  

The township laid off several employees, including Skiles and Blough, last year after years of deficit spending eventually forced $425,000 in borrowing and a six-mill tax increase.

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