Two years ago Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale accused Wyoming County of failing to submit required paperwork since 2007, to claim funds that rightfully belonged to it.
The county acknowledged during its commissioners meeting Tuesday morning that it had received $167,000 reimbursement from the state Department of Transportation (PennDOT) to its Liquid Fuels fund.
Commissioner Rick Wilbur said, “That is now cleared and money is available for use on county-owned bridges maintenance.”
“I want to thank county clerk Bill Gaylord for his perseverance to get get this,” commissioner Ernie King added.
Neither had been on the commissioners when DePasquale made the charge in November 2018, and they felt it made the county look bad.
For more than a decade, Depasquale charged that Wyoming County, thanks to a lack of paperwork from Gaylord, failed to claim funds in bridge inspection reimbursements from the state Department of Transportation, according to a state audit.
The auditor general had suggested in a press release at the time, “Drivers should not be dodging potholes because someone at the county level let the necessary paperwork simply fall through the cracks.”
The truth, according to Gaylord, is that the county owns no roads so the charge about potholes was ridiculous.
But, the state does reimburse counties 80 to 100 percent of the cost for bridge inspections, which are required every two years, and counties must submit invoices to PennDOT for reimbursement.
Gaylord said Tuesday he wanted to thank PennDOT for its considerable help to the county to getting the liquid fuels money in a line item- should the county ever needing to access it.
He said the county-owned dozen or so bridges are in relatively good shape, so he doesn’t anticipate need the funds anytime soon.
He acknowledged two years ago that some paperwork was filled out but never filed. He is happy the county can put the matter behind it.