Paint Township supervisors approved a $75,000 "interim" loan agreement with 1st Summit Bank Tuesday, but the municipality's long-term financial security won't be decided until next week at the earliest, supervisors said.
Chairman Joe Huff Jr. said the cash-strapped municipality has meetings planned with several lending institutions next week. Supervisors have not been approved or rejected for the long-term loans that could ultimately help lead the township out of its financial crisis.
"I hope we're getting close to a decision either way (on loans), because we're up against the wall," Huff said.
Tuesday's three-year loan agreement adds $75,000 in debt to what is projected to be a $314,000 deficit by year's end. Supervisors approved the motion 3-0, but township treasurer Dave Blough said he did so reluctantly.
"I wish we didn't have to," he said, "but we don't have a choice."
Huff said the loan will taken with township trucks and equipment as collateral.
The municipality has liens against a high-lift John Deere, a John Deere tractor with a mower, an International plow truck and two police vehicles.
Angry residents again questioned supervisors Tuesday about how the township got into the financial mess. Michael McCracken, a resident and one of three elected township auditors, criticized supervisors for not informing the public when they first learned of growing shortfalls in 2010.
"You could've caught this had you been doing your job," Blough responded.
McCracken said the auditors' hands were tied because supervisors didn't approve a budget by the annual auditors meeting in January.
"There was nothing to look at," McCracken said.