Antrim audit complete

PAT FRIDGEN

The state of Antrim Township finances through 2008 was healthy, Charles Frame, auditor with Boyer and Ritter CPA and Consultants, told the Board of Supervisors Sept. 8. His firm had completed a review of all township accounts and offered a 'clean opinion.'

"The financial position is very healthy," Frame said, from comparing the ratio of assets to liabilities. The former greatly outnumbered the latter.

The township's governmental activities net assets stood at $30.6 million and business activities at $26.7 million.

Of note was that Antrim had switched from an accrual basis to a modified cash basis of accounting on Boyer and Ritter's recommendation. While cash modified did not fall under the generally accepted practices of accounting principles accepted in the US, Frame explained after the meeting that it was the method Antrim used to keep its books anyway, and was used by many government entities of the same size. "The simpler the better," he preferred.

The report contained 47 auditing adjustments between Antrim and the Antrim Township Municipal Authority statements, which Frame considered not unusual, especially considering the switch in accounting systems.

Antrim did not present to the firm a Management's Discussion and Analysis as required by the Statement of Governmental Accounting Standards No. 34. The report said such was necessary to supplement the audit, but not required to be part of the basic financial statements.

The audit will be posted on the township Web site.

Visitors

Ryan Carty, 16, asked Antrim for $2,000 and offered in return more than the township bargained for. The Troop 99 Boy Scout wanted to construct two dugouts at a baseball field at Antrim Township Community Park for his Eagle Scout project. The cost for the 16x4 roofed structures was $3,438. Since the township planned to eventually spend $2,000 for four team benches, Carty asked for the money instead. He would raise the rest of the necessary funds and recruit volunteers to help with the project, slated to begin in the spring. Supervisors Curtis Myers, Rick Baer, James Byers and Fred Young III agreed it was a good deal and authorized the money. Samuel Miller was absent.

Al Jimmick asked the township to establish some sort of local Better Business Bureau so that he, a victim of shoddy workmanship, and new people moving to town, could check on the credibility of contractors. "I still don't know who these shysters are," he said, but referenced many swinging into town from out of state. "Local good contractors shouldn't have any objection to this."

The supervisors did not take action but advocated citizens check if a contractor is registered with the Office of the Attorney General. The Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act 132 became law in July and mandates that contractors who do $5,000 of work in a year must be on file with the state. Any work over $500 requires a written contract. Consumers should ask to see the contractor's wallet card with registration number. They may also investigate companies by visiting the website attorneygeneral.gov or calling 717-772-2425.

Business

The matter of the vacant lot in Melrose Meadows is still unresolved. Developer Tom Shook does not want the 10 acres, the homeowners association is willing to help but doesn't feel it can financially handle the responsibility of ownership, and Antrim hasn't decided how the land should be used if  accepted in dedication. Administrator Brad Graham explained that confusion on its intended use occurred because the Phase 1 plan of Melrose Meadows showed open space but the Phase 2 plan showed open space and an athletic field. Solicitor Deb Hoff had advised that if the area became more than open space, residents of both neighborhoods had to agree to that. Graham will continue to work with the various parties to determine what to do with the lot.

The supervisors debated how to respond to a letter from Norfolk Southern for a letter of support as it sought a federal grant. Graham had researched the details, and discovered the rail company will seek $300 million, tied to NS, Pennsylvania and Virginia matching funds. NS said the township would be under no obligations if it sent the letter, which it wanted within a couple weeks.

Byers especially expressed reservations about the whole project of constructing an intermodal terminal south of Greencastle. "I'm not sure where I stand on this yet. There are a lot of negatives too. Everything is so vague."

The board decided not to send any letter but wanted to host a worksession to learn specific details about the impact of the facility on Antrim. It was set for Sept. 15.

The supervisors accepted a return of $4,220 from Shady Grove Ruritan, which had received park grant money for a sand volleyball court. The club had unexpected expenses at its center and did not have the extra funds to complete the project this year. It asked for credit to get the money next year in addition to its 2010 request. After considering how to handle the case, the board decided to address the issue when it resurfaced next year.

JWP Environmental, Mercersburg, hired to enforce Antrim's septic pumping ordinance, is sending a letter to 20 residents or property owners who have failed to pump as required. The board approved the measure, which will be a final notice before the cases are turned over to the Magisterial District judge.