Updated: Aug 24, 2021
Having budgeted conservatively ahead of 2020, an independent audit shows throughout the year Robinson exceeded forecast revenues while also spending less than allocated in the spending plan.
The audit report, completed by the accounting firm of Beaver County-based Mark C. Turnley, shows the township brought in revenues totalling $14.6 million and spent a total of $13.5 million during 2020. Originally expecting to draw on a surplus from the prior year to balance the budget, instead, the audit shows the township finished 2020 more than $1.1 million in the black.
“I’m extremely pleased with the audit – it could not have gone smoother,” Township Manager Frank Piccolino said during an Aug. 2 meeting where the report was presented.
Taxes generated by a large retail sector and a growing residential base enable township officials to budget conservatively and use surplus income both as a safety net and to accrue capital for long-term projects.
Commissioners recently approved a fund balance policy requiring township administration to allocate at least 12% of annual operating expenditures into a general fund for “emergencies and contingencies.”
In years where the fund balance exceeds 15% of total spending, any additional revenue is to be diverted into the capital fund, used for long-term infrastructure and construction projects.
Also during the meeting, commissioners approved a $20,000 payment to the Hayes Design Group, of Pittsburgh, to conduct a feasibility study for the next stage of a proposed upgrade to the municipal building on Church Hill Road.
Commissioners have for years discussed ways to enact needed upgrades to the municipal headquarters, which houses the police and public works departments in addition to township administration.
A police station under construction with expected completion imminent represents the first of a three-phased overhaul. Phases two and three, representing public works and the administrative headquarters, are set to follow later.
Ron Shiwarski, commissioners vice president, said the study will look into different options for phase three, which he said will be the most complex. Spaces for the historical society, the library, a possible community center and the tax office all must be carved out within this building, he said.
“We’re starting [the study] so we can make an educated decision on phase three,” Shiwarski said.
Photo courtesy Robinson Township Police Department
Robinson’s first K9 officer was retired from service Aug. 3 after eight years with the township police.
K9 Sarik joined the Robinson Township Police Department in May 2013, and has since participated in “many arrests, search warrants and township functions,” according to Chief Tim Westwood, who announced the retirement during an Aug. 2 commissioners meeting.
“He has been a valuable asset to the department over the years,” Westwood said. “We hope he has a long and happy retirement.”
K9 Rocky, a newly trained Belgian Malinois, began service with the department Aug. 4 to fill the gap left by Sarik’s retirement.