The Unity Township Supervisors, at their annual reorganization meeting on Monday, reappointed John Mylant as chairman and appointed Mike O’Barto as vice chairman.
Mylant is entering his fifth year as the supervisors chairman. O’Barto had served as chairman for the previous 16 years.
Mylant, O’Barto and Ed Poponick were appointed paid roadmasters. Each are responsible for one of the township’s three geographical maintenance districts.
The supervisors’ annual salary as roadmasters will be determined by the township auditors, who were set to meet at 9 a.m. today, Jan. 5.
In other business Monday, the supervisors appointed PNC Capital Markets of Pittsburgh to serve as underwriter and Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott of Harrisburg to serve as bond counsel if township officials decide to move forward with a future bond issue. O’Barto said the bond issue would be the first of its kind for the township and would be used to help finance infrastructure and recreational upgrades; he added that the underwriter and bond counsel would only be paid if the township proceeds with the bond issue.
O’Barto said township officials have yet to set a total amount for the potential bond issue.
“The (interest) rates are so low right now, it may be advantageous for the township to do it,” he said, adding that the township is currently only looking into the feasibility of a bond issue.
O’Barto said the potential bond issue could be used to fund improvements to stormwater facilities and road paving work. The areas of the township the bond issue would target, he added, haven’t seen such upgrades in roughly 25 years.
“We don’t want to get behind the eight ball,” he said. “We don’t want to wake up one day and say we’re looking at the possibility of a tax increase.”
The potential bond issue, O’Barto said, could also be used for future recreational improvements. The supervisors have recently expressed a desire to offer residents handicapped-accessibility at township recreational facilities.
On Monday, the supervisors also observed a moment of silence following the sudden death of state Rep. Mike Reese, 42, who passed away Saturday following an apparent brain aneurysm. The Mount Pleasant Township Republican, a 12-year member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, was set to begin his seventh term representing portions of Westmoreland and Somerset counties in the 59th Legislative District.
“(He) was very receptive to our township residents throughout the years that he served as a legislator. We’re going to miss him tremendously,” O’Barto said of Reese.
Added Mylant: “He was a great man, period.”
The supervisors also approved to continue to hold regular meetings at 4:30 p.m. the second Thursday of each month.
Also Monday, the supervisors approved a benefit package for township non-union employees, but tabled setting wages, with O’Barto saying the supervisors plan to meet individually with the workers.
The supervisors also made these appointments for 2021:
- Mike O’Barto on the Unity Township Municipal Authority for a five-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2025;
- Tom Baumann and Frank Novotny on the township planning commission for three-year terms expiring Dec. 31, 2023;
- Jackie Nindel on the township zoning hearing board for a five-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2025;
- Jim Thomas on the construction code appeals board for a five-year term expiring Dec. 31, 2025;
- Gary Falatovich as township solicitor;
- Gibson-Thomas Engineering Co. Inc. as township engineer;
- Sharon Sweeney as secretary and the township’s right-to-know officer;
- Julie Zoppetti as treasurer;
- Merle Musick, Harry Hosack, Steve Yanchik and Greg Fumea as building inspectors and zoning and code enforcement officers.
- Emil Bove as sewage enforcement officer and Mike Stack as the alternate officer;
- Tim Quinn on the township vacancy board;
- Tom Schultheis Jr. as emergency management coordinator;
- Compensation for Unity Township Municipal Authority members of $50 per meeting, not to exceed $150 per month;
- Mark Burkardt as tax collector and Chris Stewart as deputy tax collector;
- Mylant and Poponick as township delegates for the state convention, with a mileage rate of 56 cents per mile for the event. Poponick was also appointed as the delegate to officially vote at the convention;
- Bonds, in the amount of $100,000 per person, for the township office staff;
- Commercial Bank and Trust of PA as the primary bank and First Commonwealth Bank as the secondary bank for the township’s checking and savings accounts.