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Article posted: 2/20/2013 10:42 PM

Grafton Twp. secures loan from separate office, will seek more money

Road commissioner loans money — and township already owed him

By Lenore T. Adkins

Grafton Township will borrow about $100,000 from Road Commissioner Jack Freund, a move that buys the township about a month to pay bills and to make the payroll.

There had been around $8,000 in the township fund, which officials wasn't enough to handle those expenses. That's when Freund decided to step up.

"I've been an elected official in this township for eight years and I don't want to see it go down and have problems," Freund said after the meeting Wednesday night.

Last week, the township issued a $300,000 check to Freund so he could pay off a property loan.

But after meeting with Trustee Betty Zirk, Freund, and Freund's attorney, Township Supervisor Linda Moore later voided the check.

Zirk admitted she initiated the meeting out of concern for township employees.

"You have to take care of the payroll, that's a must," Zirk said.

Voiding the check allowed the township to make the payroll and to pay other bills, including a $10,000 deposit for an audit, a move that means Township Supervisor Linda Moore will avoid jail time for being found in contempt of court of a separate court order last week.

Moore said she mailed that check Thursday and Jim Kearns, who is running as an independent for Moore's seat, accused her of looking out for herself.

Moore disagreed.

"The funds are now available and I complied with the court order," Moore said after the meeting.

During the special meeting held Wednesday, the board voted to return $250,000 of Freund's money.

In turn, Freund will have the ability to loan the township up to $110,000 from his excess funds.

The township also agreed to pay Freund back by July 1 with 4 percent interest.

Moore estimates that the loan will help the board pay bills through the first half of March while she tries to secure a loan from a larger financial institution.

Moore said one bank already turned the township down because the township has not completed an audit. Two other banks haven't given her an answer yet, she said.

The portion of the meeting that dealt with resolving the financial issues lasted for about 90 minutes and included outbursts from the audience, many of whom are running for elected office in the township.

Moreover, the township board allowed two sessions of public comment to get input and feedback from the audience on how to handle the issue. Frequent outbursts from the audience also interrupted the proceedings.

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