Marcellus fees will pay salaries
By Liz Zemba
Published: Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Fayette County commissioners on Tuesday passed resolutions detailing where some of its $1.4 million in Marcellus shale impact-fee revenues will be spent, but they could not decide how to set aside a portion of the money for two dozen townships.
Commissioners voted unanimously to use $28,483 to pay an employee's salary in the records department and to give $60,000 to the Fayette County Conservation District to hire an employee.
They voted 2-0, with Angela Zimmerlink abstaining, to use $844,768 for 911 emergency system upgrades. Zimmerlink said she abstained because the 2013 budget called for using $506,690 of Act 13 money for the upgrades.
In a 2-1 vote, with Zimmerlink opposed, commissioners Al Ambrosini and Vince Zapotosky approved giving $60,000 to the Fayette County Redevelopment Authority. Zimmerlink said the new hire will review the industry's impact on economic development, a task that could be handled by the county's existing economic development agencies.
Zapotosky motioned to deposit $379,705 in Act 13 money into a capital reserve fund, but he withdrew the motion when Zimmerlink questioned whether doing so would restrict its use to the county. She noted that 24 townships have asked that some of the money be designated for their use.
Zimmerlink made a motion to set aside $240,000 of the $379,705 for the townships, with each to be given $10,000. Her motion died for lack of a second.
Zapotosky and Ambrosini said they want specific rules to govern how townships are awarded the money. Amounts might vary, they said, depending on each township's proposed project.
Zimmerlink said she prefers that each township be awarded the same amount so that local officials can decide for themselves how best to use the money.
Menallen Supervisor Joe Petrucci said the townships need the money primarily to maintain roads that have been impacted by an increase in Marcellus traffic.
The money the 24 townships are seeking would be in addition to their share of $2.4 million in impact fees to be divided among all 42 county municipalities, Zapotosky noted.
In an unrelated matter, Controller Sean Lally advised commissioners the state has notified the county Children and Youth Services it might not receive $1.16 million to help pay its 2011-12 expenses. Lally said CYS needs the money because it owes the county $1.3 million.
Zapotosky said officials are lobbying Harrisburg to disburse the money. Ambrosini said if the state does not reimburse the county, it “will be fairly devastating to the county's general fund.”
In an unrelated matter, the board appointed Sam Cordis to the airport authority to fill the unexpired term of Terry Shallenberger, who resigned in January. Zapotosky said Cordis is a former manager of the airport in Dunbar Township.
During public comment, Marcy Ozorowski of Highlands Hospital in Connellsville presented commissioners with a petition asking them to attend a private meeting with hospital management regarding their concerns over a contract with competitor Uniontown Hospital to provide state-funded inpatient mental health services.
The petition contains 500 signatures, according to Ozorowski. Highlands contends the contract between Value Behavioral Health and Uniontown Hospital was improperly awarded because commissioners did not approve it. Highlands previously had been the county's exclusive provider of the services through the HealthChoices program.
An attorney who looked into the allegations for the county found no wrongdoing, but another who investigated for Highlands concluded proper procedures were not followed.
Ozorowski said a drop in inpatient admissions has forced the Connellsville hospital to cut employee hours.
Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Election board rejects ballot referendum on Fayette County prison issues
- Texas company offers investment in millions to upgrade Everson plant
- West Leisenring band’s EP release party to benefit firefighters
- Planning underway for Connellsville Christmas event
- Geibel alumnus Sammy Brooks to perform jazz during tuition fundraiser on Saturday
- Lemont woman accused of stealing purses, using credit cards
- Police pursuit ends with Smithfield suspect wounded, thirsty for beer
- Connellsville Community Yard Sale set May 3; enrollment deadline is April 28
- Recording studio joins Connellsville community center’s growing artist enclave
- CAHS Patriots’ annual auction set for May 8
- Connellsville ministry group’s focus is on a hand up more than a hand out