Newtown Township Municipal Authority Votes on New Debt Again

The Municipal Authority has to vote again to take on debt because their last vote was problematic.

At their latest meeting, the Newtown Township Municipal Authority voted on a new list of invoices provided by Kelly and Close Engineers that were said to be paid for by $100,000 that Newtown Township provided. This is the same $100,000 debt that the Municipal Authority previously voted to accept.  

The new twist and reason to vote again is that the last list had bills on it that had already been paid. The Municipal Authority is hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and they continue to vote without question to accept more debt. 

In my last post, I pointed out that invoices that were on that list had already been paid. And, after I pointed it out, Larry Fischer, treasurer for the Municipal Authority, admitted that the invoices had already been paid. This, after Larry had indicated at the meeting that he had reviewed the list and that all bills needed to be paid and were responsibilities of the Municipal Authority.  

Why was Larry so eager to accept this debt? Why was he so willing to claim that he had reviewed the bills on the list and that they were to be paid?  In his role as treasurer of the Municipal Authority, was Larry acting independently as he should or was he trying to favor the township who was facing a material deficiency in the township's audit?

I have gone through the new list of invoices provided at the latest Municipal Authority meeting. And again, Larry Fischer has indicated that he had reviewed these invoices and that they were the Municipal Authority's to pay. Again, I have questions about these invoices. The list is provided with this post. Here are my questions:

  • 6/30/2009: $561.00 and 7/29/2009: $1,222.00  It would appear as though these invoices were never authorized by the Municipal Authority. Nancy Minnick resigned from the Municipal Authority on 7/17/2009 and this was the period of time when the Municipal Authority was not meeting. It would seem odd that if these were authorized charges, they were then not subsequently paid in late 2009 or 2010. In December of 2010, the Municipal Authority had $393,956.65 in cash available.  If the bills needed to be paid, there is no reason that the Municipal Authority would not have paid them.
  • 4/4/2011: $84,735.42 (and they say a $10,737.56 partial payment was made 6/11/2011). Added together, these bills total $95,472.98.  Coincidentally, in August 2011, I submitted a right-to-know request for invoices from Kelly Engineers provided to the township for payment. During the period 3/12-4/15, the bills I reviewed totaled $95,472.98.  
  • 6/2/2012: PAOC (Pennsylvania One Call) for $2,566.22. What could this be? It was not presented for payment at either the June or the July 2012 meetings of the Municipal Authority. 
  • 6/29/2011: $1,336 and 6/29/2011: $2,566.22 (interesting that this is the exact same amount for 6/2/2012). I have the list of disbursements from the August 2011 meeting which was both June and July activity combined. These invoices were not on it, were not mentioned at the meeting and the balance sheet did not change to show additional payables.  
  • 8/01/2011: PAOC for $2,631.26  I have a copy of notes from the August 1, 2011, as well as a copy of the June and July 2011 activity combined disbursements for approval. This bill was not on the list of disbursements. There was also no increase in the accounts payable amount between July 2011 and August 2011. If this was an authorized and valid payable, that amount would have increased on the municipal balance sheet. It did not.

It appears to me that many, if not all, of the charges specified are actually township costs. I am especially confused as to how the PAOC (Pennsylvania One Call) charges have magically appeared.   
It seems to me that, once again, the Municipal Authority has voted to accept a $100,000 payable to the township for invoices that were neither authorized nor in many, if not in all cases, charges that were not the responsibility of the Municipal Authority.  

It is not even clear to me that many of these charges are valid. There seems to be no doubt that the Municipal Authority is deeply in debt. There also now seems to be no doubt that the Municipal Authority Board with one exception, Jack DiPompeo, seems willing to agree to solve a financial problem for the township by taking on more debt.  

The Municipal Authority has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and has not constructed any sewage facilities. Will they continue to accept debt and to spend taxpayer dollars without regard? I sure hope not.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

JC August 10, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Thanks Patti for looking out for the taxpayers once again !!


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