Greene Township Supervisors approve a five-figure bonus for township employees. The use of American Rescue Plan money is not sitting well with some.
$10,000 is a lot for anyone and 10 Greene Township employees will be getting that as a bonus.
“I’m all for them getting a bonus, $1,000 maybe. But $10,000? That’s crazy talk.” said Joe Morschhauser, Greene Township resident.
Morschhuaser has been a Greene Township resident for 15 years. He was not aware of the $10,000 bonus before talking with us.
“I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed in the way they allocated the funds I think it could have. There’s a lot of stuff in this township that money could have went to other than themselves,” Morschhauser said.
Greene Township Solicitor Gery Nietupski releasing a statement on behalf of the township, saying:
“The primary mission of Greene Township and its Supervisors is to serve the best interests of its residents.
The Township has become aware that some Township residents are objecting to the Supervisors decision to use a portion of the American Rescue Plan (“ARP”) funds it has received from the federal government to provide “premium pay” to its employees.
First, ARP funds are designed to be transformative and to assist local government in providing pandemic related services to its residents. The ARP money, which is not part of the Township’s budget, will be completely transformative for all of us.
Second, the ARP legislation specifically provides that ARP funds may be used to provide “premium pay” to eligible employees. The Supervisors one-time decision to do so in our Township was done in complete accordance with both the spirit and the letter of the law. At the same time, Kuhl Hose received $13,678.44, lost income was replaced in the amount of $84,711.28 and $36,645 was provided for the Tate Road project, including electrical service.
Furthermore, this decision was made at a regular public meeting, and was voted on without any objection from anyone in attendance. The process was completely open and transparent. In addition, the vast majority of the funds received (80%) will be utilized for community wide projects within the meaning of the Act. To those who have asked, existing sewer projects, like ours, are not eligible for ARP funding. And, while we could have utilized the funds for a recycling truck, the maintenance of that type of service going forward would have come out of the general fund, which simply can’t afford it. Believe it or not, we think we do a pretty good job of managing the Township’s money.
Third, we understand that not everyone will agree with our decisions. It is every resident’s right to let your voice be heard on this or on any issue affecting the Township. We understand, appreciate and respect your comments, opinions and objections.
The Supervisors are, and have always been, committed to making our Township a great place to live and raise a family. Many of you know how very hard every Township official and every employee works for you every day. We hope you all take this into consideration.”
Greene Township Statement on ARP Funding
Despite that defense, one Summit Township Supervisor questions the Greene Township decision.
“I don’t agree with it, I never have. What they do with their money is their business,” said Jack Lee, Summit Township Supervisor.
The amount of the bonus is not sitting well with one Greene Township resident as he says he feels the money could have went to other ways to help the community.
“We have people that come over to get food out of the pantry, maybe it could’ve went to them. We just had the sewer come through. There’s $100 a month, give him a year’s worth of sewer money. There’s way we can help people in this community other than themselves,” Morschhauser said.
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