EXETER TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Prior to his retirement, Exeter Township Supervisor David Hughes served as an auditor. At Monday night’s meeting, he put that experience to good use, leading a detailed review of the township treasurer’s monthly report.
Hughes pointed out several discrepancies and potential problems. He noted that items for engineering review and building repairs were budgeted at $20,000 for the year and $19,000 had been spent to date. Many other items were also at or near over budget with ten months remaining in the year.
When he finished, Hughes said, “For the first time I saw this happen, we actually went through the treasurer’s report.
Later in the meeting, Hughes made comments to Chairman Carl Staples about how agendas for supervisors’ meetings were being prepared.
“I want to have a say in what’s on the agenda,” Hughes said. Referring to the other supervisors, Hughes noted, “None of us have a say in what goes on the agenda, and this is our meeting.
“I want the people who voted for me to know that there is some kind of fence or wall to prevent me from participating in this government.”
Staples did not respond to Hughes’ comments.
By a vote of 3 to 2, with supervisors Hughes and Michelle Kircher opposing, the supervisors approved a temporary salary adjustment of $1,000 per month for the acting township manager. Expressing his opposition, Hughes said: “Mr. Hamm has a wonderful contract here. He has 7 weeks vacation. He’s going to make over $100,000 this year. He doesn’t need more money. If you want to give him something, wait until he’s done his job and we’ll vote a bounty for him.
The supervisors then voted unanimously to hire a search firm to lead the search for a township manager. Kercher commented, “We really need someone who knows what they’re doing.”
Earlier in public comments, a township resident told supervisors, ‘Don’t make the same mistake the school board made when they hired an executive search firm that said they would do the job. free. He encouraged supervisors to hire a real executive search firm even if it will cost the municipality a little more.
Supervisors approved a waiver request for the township land use plan from Exeter Service Electric, which was inadvertently ignored at the last meeting.
Payment in the amount of $55,897.20 for the Sutton Circle retention basin renovation project has been approved. Construction continues for the Sutton Circle Basin Retrofit, which is a required MS4 project.
Supervisors have approved the completion and submission of an American Rescue Plan (ARP) Application Grant through Berks County in the amount of $121,964.06 for the Oley Turnpike Culvert Replacement Road.
Berks County has $30 million in ARPA funds available for municipalities and other businesses and nonprofits to apply for sewer and water projects and other qualified services. The county has allocated $18 million for the year 2022 and $12 million for the year 2023. Municipalities can apply for funding up to 25% of the construction cost or $1 million, whichever is less. raised. The deadline for submitting county applications is March 31, 2022. The Oley Turnpike Culvert Project is eligible for funding.
In addition, supervisors authorized requests for the installation of three public fire hydrants by the Pennsylvania American Water Company on Hartline Drive, Glen Road and Jefferson Street. It costs nothing to the community.
A retention agreement with Zaepfel Law, PC, Lancaster, Pa. has been approved. Zaepfel will prepare and submit public comments on behalf of the Township regarding the Pioneer Crossing Major Landfill Permit Amendment.
Additionally, supervisors approved a renewal agreement with Ironton Global for a township telephone system. The renewal agreement is for a term of three years at a cost of $34,133.40.
Supervisors have tabled a motion to authorize the purchase of a 7.5 tonne rooftop HVAC unit for Reading Country Club to secure more comparative offers. The township had received three bids to replace the HVAC unit in the whiskey bar area: Burkhardt Mechanical $20,215.00; Warko Group $18,950.00; and Landis Mechanical $16,272.96.
In addition, the supervisors proposed a possible action regarding the investment of the Wastewater Proceeds fund.