The financial records and accounts for Spangler Fire Company are being scrutinized after a man posted on Facebook saying that no one knows how the volunteer fire department in Northern Cambria Borough spends its money. In the post, he demanded that people start asking questions.
In that viral facebook post, Edward Andrew asked tax payers and donors to Spangler Fire Company to question where their money is going. He wrote that funds raised are “untraceable” and there’s not a separate financial account for the money that’s supposed to go towards building a new fire department. In the post, he included pictures of the current building, which appears run-down.
In a Facebook message Spangler Fire Company told WTAJ: “…at this time we’re not allowed to comment per our attorney!”
The fire company’s attorney, Homady & Corcoran, LLC., told WTAJ: “We are representing the Spangler Fire Company and looking into the allegations. Because we were just recently retained, we do not have all of the information and cannot make a statment at this time.”
Borough Councilman Wilbur Kelly said he talked with the fire company’s president and fire chief, who told him that they have had an audit. Kelly added that the post could be tied to a vendetta within the fire company over elections and new policies. He said if the lack of financial accountability is true, it could just be a matter of poor bookkeeping.
“I truly think they’re doing the best they can in a little town where money is tight,” Kelly told WTAJ. “But I think they should be given the benefit of the doubt until the accusations can be proven.”
Kelly said, one way or another, the public deserves to know the truth.
“I think maybe a new audit would be the right thing to do and clear the air once and for all.”
The borough doesn’t have the authority to oversee all of the fire company’s finances since its a private, nonprofit. However, council can ask for an audit of taxpayer money that goes to the department each year totalling about $19,000.
The borough’s solicitor, Tim Burns, said he does not know whether or not the fire company has had an audit, but if questions linger, he recommends that council ask the fire company for those financial records.