John Beaufort will continue to lead as chairman of the Ligonier Township Board of Supervisors for 2021.
The supervisors unanimously reappointed Beaufort at a reorganization meeting Monday afternoon, prior to their first regular meeting of the new year.
The board also voted to reappoint supervisors Paul Knupp as vice chairman and Stephanie Verna as secretary/treasurer.
Beaufort will remain Ligonier Township’s emergency management coordinator, with Steve Kozar as assistant emergency management coordinator. Verna was also reappointed to the Ligonier Valley Police Commission, her new four-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2024.
Ligonier Township staff kept their roles as well, with financial officer Bethany Caldwell continuing as assistant secretary/treasurer, and Jim Nieusma as zoning/community development officer, code enforcement officer and open records officer. Administrative assistant Tracy Krowchak is assistant code enforcement officer.
Township manager Terry Carcella was reappointed as zoning administrator and the township’s representative on the Act 32 Westmoreland County Wage Tax Committee, with Caldwell as alternate committee representative. Carcella joins Verna as chief administrative officers for the township’s non-uniformed pension plan.
The township’s annual appointments generally remained status quo for 2021, with Michael Korns of MBM Law Group serving as the township’s solicitor at a $125 hourly rate, and Ben Faas and Jake Bolby of The EADS Group as the township’s engineers with a $123-$133 contracted hourly rate and a $125 flat meeting rate.
The supervisors retained Mike D’Arrigo as the township’s sewage enforcement officer with Mesko Engineering as alternate.
One notable change was to expand the Ligonier Township Recreation Board from five to seven members. The supervisors appointed Tina Smitley to a five-year term through Dec. 31, 2025 and selected Todd Bowers to fill a four-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2024.
A three-year term remains vacant. Any township residents wishing to join the recreation board should submit letters of interest to the Ligonier Township offices at 1 Municipal Park Drive, Ligonier, PA 15658.
Other reappointments included Barbara Nalle to the planning commission and Bob Smithley to the zoning hearing board, with both five-year terms expiring Dec. 31, 2025.
The supervisors in December approved a resolution revising the terms of zoning hearing board members to align with the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code by having one of the five seats expire each year. Each member serves a five-year term. As such, the reappointments of Doug Kurtz and Ed Oles will now expire at the end of 2024 and 2022, respectively.
All planning commission and zoning hearing board members will be compensated $30 per meeting. The supervisors will receive annual stipends of $2,500 — to be paid on a quarterly basis — which is the maximum amount allowed under Pennsylvania’s Second Class Township code and approved by the township auditors.
Bill Stablein was reappointed to the Ligonier Township Municipal Authority Board for a five-year term ending Dec. 31, 2025. Dan Weimer is chairman of the vacancy board.
Steve Kozar was also selected as the citizen member on the police commission for a two-year term according to the commission’s charter. Supervisor Paul Knupp will be the township’s alternate commission member, although he can only serve during the remaining year of his elected position, which expires at the end of 2021.
The board also reappointed all Ligonier Beach Park Development Committee members for one-year terms: all Ligonier Township administrative staff; supervisor Scott Matson; planning commission members Sheila Grimm and Mickey Corb; recreation board members Larry Shew and Bob Gangawere; Ligonier Borough Mayor Ormond “Butch” Bellas; and residents Julie Donovan, Melissa Eller and Mark Sorice.
John Rhodes was chosen as chairman of the township’s Agricultural Security Program, along with appointed members Lewis Thomas and Alan Smith. The program allows local farmers to seek funding for their properties in exchange for a signed agreement to maintain the land for agricultural purposes, according to Nieusma.
Approved financial services include Berkheimer as collector of the township’s Act 511 taxes plus wages and local services taxes, and Wessel & Company as the township’s certified public accountant for the 2020 audit.
The supervisors appointed First Commonwealth Bank as the township’s depository for the General Fund, the Developers/Escrow fund and the Ligonier Beach Park Fund. Commercial National Bank will be the depository for the Liquid Fuels Fund and the Capital Fund.
The supervisors set the treasurer’s bond at $600,000 and authorized the following signers for the township’s financial accounts in 2021: supervisors Beaufort, Verna, Knupp and Dan Resenic, plus Carcella.
The Ligonier Township Supervisors will hold their public meetings in 2021 at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month and at 4:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Ligonier Township Municipal Complex. Both the board and public will be able to attend these meetings remotely.
January was a little different as the board elected to hold its first regular meeting on the same day as its reorganization. A recap of the Jan. 4 regular meeting will be in Wednesday’s Bulletin.
The township’s other boards will also continue to meet at regularly scheduled days and times, with the planning commission at 7 p.m. on the fourth Thursday of each month, the zoning hearing board at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month, and the recreation board at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month.