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Tyrone Boro reviews November agenda at work session meeting; audit fees discussed

Tyrone Borough Council convened last evening at the municipal building to discuss its November agenda for next Monday’s regular session meeting.
All council members were present as council quickly moved past October’s work and regular session minutes for review. October’s financial report was not yet prepared, but it will be provided for review for council next week.
Borough Manager Sharon Dannaway presented her monthly report for council to discuss. Among the topics prepared was a decision for council to accept audit fees from the borough’s current auditor, Young, Oaks, Brown & Company, P.C. of Altoona, for the fiscal years ending December 31, 2008, 2009, and 2010.
Dannaway told council that the fee charge for the company to perform the audit for the three stipulated years would cost the borough $10,400 per year. She said that the fee reflects a three percent increase from the prior three years.
Councilperson Steve Hanzir suggested that the borough should perhaps look at other companies that perform audits and seek other quotes due to the increased cost that Young, Oaks, Brown & Company has proposed.
Mayor Jim Kilmartin agreed with Hanzir, and thought it would be a good idea to at least check around for a better price.
Although the fee had increased, Councilperson Pat Stoner noted that Young, Oaks, Brown & Company has done “a thorough job” in the past with their duties as auditor for the borough, stating that the company puts in the sufficient amount of time by spending two or three days at the municipal building preparing the audit.
Borough Solicitor Larry Clapper also said that Young, Oaks, Brown & Company was a reputable company that performs audits for other municipalities and school districts in Blair County.
Kilmartin asked Borough Finance Director Phyllis Gearhart how her relationship was with the company, and she informed the mayor that the relationship was “good,” and that she can depend on the firm to answer any questions whenever something arises.
“We have an excellent working relationship with them,” said Gearhart to council.
Kilmartin responded, “If it’s not broke then don’t fix it.”
After the discussion, council decided that although Young, Oaks, Brown & Company’s audit capabilities were sufficient, the borough would still like to seek other quotes from other companies before investing in the proposed fees from Young, Oaks, Brown & Company.
Another agenda item that will be on the table for council to decide upon next Monday night will be an amendment to the Police Collective Bargaining Agreement for a K-9 handler to serve the department’s new addition to the force, Vilo, the police dog.
The agreement would set forth, among other things, the duties, responsibilities, and additional pay for the full-time police officer given the assignment of housing, feeding, cleaning, handling, maintaining, and being responsible for the police dog owned by the borough.
Other agenda items set for a decision include: 2009 agreement with the Central PA Humane Society; PennDOT reimbursement agreement for handicap ramps located along State Route 453 at the intersections of Hamilton and North Avenue at a cost to the borough of $17,000; bid acceptance from Laurel Management for $79,948 for the Clay Avenue waterline project; Resolution No. 2008-13, extending term of the PA Keystone Opportunity and Economic Zone Act (KOEZ); and Resolution No. 2008-14, revision to the Open Records policy.
Before the work session ended, borough employee and sewer department head Tim Nulton updated council on the Wooly Adelgid treatment performed on the Hemlock trees at Reservoir Park and the borough’s watershed property.
Nulton said that 528 trees were treated and that 95 percent of the park was completed for this year. He noted that several private property owners around the park also treated their properties.