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Township puts secretary on salary to save money

| Thursday, July 14, 2005

In an attempt to save money, Lower Tyrone supervisors agreed to pay township secretary Traci Harrold an annual salary of $7,200.

"We're looking to save about $7,800 a year on this move, maybe more," Chairman George Gillespie said.

Harrold, who was hired in March at an hourly rate, would receive $600 a month with no benefits, no paid days off and no paid vacation. In 2002, wages paid to the secretary totaled $15,384.65, with health benefits, bringing the cost to taxpayers to $19,584.65.

In the salaried position, Harrold would hold office hours in the township building on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., with additional hours as necessary for appointments.

"I would strongly encourage people to leave messages on the machine, so I could get back to them with their concerns," Harrold said about the arrangement.

Supervisors also noted that they would be in and out of the building during the course of the week and be able to help residents with concerns.

"Always before, they told us they needed somebody four days a week to answer the phone in case of an emergency," Auditor Emma Jean Davis said. "Why did we need all this help before and don't need it now?"

"You'll have to take that up with previous supervisors, dead or alive," Gillespie responded. "This is the next step in trying to save the township some money."

In other business, supervisors announced they would be closing upper Hulltown Road for an indefinite period for construction, beginning today. The township will be repairing a berm that is sliding from the road near its intersection with Route 819. No homes will be cut off from highway access during the project. Supervisors planned construction after a site consultation by PennDOT engineer Harold Whyel.

The township will begin charging a $10 administrative fee to process municipal non-lien letters requested by parties purchasing property within its boundaries.

"When people are buying property or refinancing, non-lien letters are sent to the township to request a letter to verify that there aren't any filed municipal liens against the property," solicitor Richard Husband said. "A lot of municipalities are now assessing charges for that service."

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