Pinecroft fire dept. funds withheld

Antis Township wants company’s leaders to comply with ‘stipulation’

BELLWOOD — Antis Township supervisors agreed Thursday to donate $97,500 to local organizations.

But there was an omission from their donation list. Funds are being withheld from Pinecroft Volunteer Fire Department until its leaders comply with a “stipulation.”

Thursday’s meeting also featured the first public report from a Pinecroft representative in more than three years.

“I know in the past we haven’t had anybody here, but it’s our goal to start having a representative here,” said Jeff Mayers, an assistant chief with the department.

Pinecroft is one of two fire departments that offer primary service in the Antis area. The other is Excelsior Volunteer Fire Department, which is based in Bellwood.

A representative from Excelsior has been present at the majority of supervisors’ meetings during the past year.

On Thursday, Supervisor David Worthing spoke about the importance of offering monthly reports.

“Jeff, this is really important,” Worthing said. “It gives us better insight on what call volumes you have and challenges you might have.”

Mayers’ Thursday report featured information about the number and type of calls Pinecroft volunteers responded to in February — 17 in total.

Supervisor Kenneth Hostler said he’d like a report on how many active members the department has and how many of those firefighters respond to each call.

Supervisor Robert Smith said he’d also like to see information about training programs, as well as “anything at all that gives us a better understanding of your organization.”

“We are often times ourselves asked questions about public safety,” Smith said. “And we like to be able to answer.”

Mayers, who is newly elected to his role, issued a series of apologies for prior absences and offered assurances that Pinecroft attendance would be regular at upcoming meetings.

Supervisors later voted to award annual contributions to three local organizations.

Excelsior Volunteer Fire Department was awarded $40,000, while Bellwood-Antis Public Library was awarded $32,500 and Bellwood-Antis Parks & Recreation Authority was awarded $25,000.

Pinecroft Volunteer Fire Department did not appear on the donation list. Pinecroft has received annual donations in the past.

Township Manager Lucas Martsolf explained why the department was left off of the 2018 list at the Thursday meeting.

“The reason we didn’t add the release for the Pinecroft Fire Company is … we did apply one more stipulation to them, so, once that’s met, we will then come back for the release … to the Pinecroft Fire Company,” he said.

That was news to Mayers’ and another Pinecroft official in attendance.

“I’m really not aware of what you guys requested,” Mayers said.

Martsolf encouraged Mayers to contact the department’s chief for information.

Outside of the meeting, Martsolf said department officials were asked to conduct an audit.

Mirror Staff Writer Sean Sauro is at 946-7535