Transfer of funds considered by Tyrone Borough for parking lot improvement purposes

Tyrone Borough council is considering the transfer of funds from its Municipal Parking Authority to its general fund for the purpose of improving a municipal parking lot and possibly other parking areas in the borough.
Borough Manager Nathan George gave council background on the parking authority at Monday night’s meeting.
In his monthly report he said, “The authority was incorporated in 1960 and terminates in the year 2010.”
He explained it was initially created to “acquire, hold, construct, improve, maintain, operate, own or lease either as a lessor or lessee (borough ordinance No. 590)” the parking lot between the YMCA building and Herald Street.
George also reported the authority had not met in several years according to information obtained from other borough staff. George also explained solicitor Larry Clapper advised the borough that rather than abolish the authority, as was previously discussed, it would be better to simply request from the parking authority that their funds be transferred to the general fund.
Clapper indicated it would be best to leave the board in place in case it was needed to be used in a more active way in the future.
“If you take a look at our 1986 code book, which is the first code book we seem to have on record, that would tell you all the members that were originally appointed to the board,” said George.
The original board consisted of five members. According to a plaque on a wall at the municipal parking lot, the original members were Morris Levine, Harold W. Edmunds, Cary H. Simpson, Mark Laird and J. Leslie Fink Jr.
George explained the borough’s secretary has a list of the names.
However, council had not given any direction as to those members who had passed away or were no longer with the authority. There was no clarification from council if any former members would be reinstated or new members designated.
A list provided by borough secretary Kim Murray indicated the most recent known members were Levine, Simpson, Laird and Carl Babe.
When contacted for this article, Simpson indicated he thought the board was no longer in existence.
“The board met during its first 20 years, it had a bank account from the money collected from the parking meters and fines,” said Simpson. “Since then there has been virtually no reliance on the authority.
“Each year or every other year I would receive a letter saying congratulations, you a member of the authority,” said Simpson. “It’s been a long time since I received one of those letters.”
Simpson e-mailed background information to The Daily Herald on the authority which indicated the council in place at the time the parking lot was proposed did not respond favorably to the board’s approaches.
Simpson’s background information said the parking lot was “immediately successful, instead of operating at a loss as council had feared.” It was also noted the lot was used for numerous community events with large crowds in attendance. A proposed second level for the lot was investigated but it never became a reality.
George explained money from the authority was transferred to the general fund in 1996 through the use of a form which contained signatures from board members.
“In 1996 there were five names (on the board) and they signed over the money at the time,” said George. “We will try to contact as many members of the board as we can and there will have to be a document prepared.
“Council directed the same as was done in 1996, which was simply a memo to them with a signature line for each one of them,” said George. “The memo would state what would be taken out, which would zero out the account and they would have to sign over that money.”
Currently, there is about $10,000 in the authority’s budget. Both, financial director Phyllis Garhart and solicitor Clapper thought it would be best to request the authority zero out its budget.
Once that is done, the money would then be transferred to the borough’s general fund. George explained the money could then be used for upgrading the Municipal Parking lot along with other parking areas in need of improvement.