Madison Township water tower

MADISON TOWNSHIP ─ Trustee Catherine Swank said Madison Township has to do something to solve the problem of lack of funds for buying and maintaining the road department’s equipment.

Her comment at the trustees’ meeting on Monday night came after chairman Trustee Jim Houser said some equipment at the department went down recently, including the mowers.

Swank echoed that concern and said the road work is going to be slow. But the road department is doing everything it can and has ordered some parts to try to fix the issue.

She said she is working on some figures and will probably propose in the first trustees’ meeting in July that the township consider a road levy.

There probably will be two options for the trustees’ discussions, Swank said. One is to put out a general levy so the money can be used broadly, such as for salaries, insurances and everyday expenses.

The other option would be a special levy with a designated use, she said. Madison Township has a special fire levy for the fire department’s equipment purchase and maintenance.

“We’ve got to have it (road levy),” Swank said. “There's just not enough money, and we need equipment.”

The trustees have discussed buying a new boom mower for the road department in previous meetings. Swank said the item would likely cost about $164,000. She is looking into several lease-to-own options and will bring them to the board.

A purchase like that will take a significant amount of money out of the township’s budget, Swank said. She will be ready to present her proposals about the levy in July.

In addition, the trustees approved Fire Chief Kenneth Justus’ request for putting Medic 72, an ambulance, on for sale with a reserve price of $10,000.

Justus said the ambulance is a 2008 Ford Braun van that the department rarely used and had some motor issues. It has been used on only three out of 900 calls this year.

A private EMS organization based in Pittsburgh expressed interest in the ambulance when picking up other items it bought from the apartment, Justus said. The chief said it would be in the township’s best interest to sell the vehicle on while it's worth something and someone has an interest in it.  

Justus has been leading a clean-up effort at the department since taking office a few months ago. Multiple old or unused items have been put on The chief reported the department has brought in $7,678 from the sales.   

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