MOUNT CARMEL - A new treasurer may be working for the borough as soon as Friday.

The borough council decided at its work session Monday to add a vote on appointing Ann Swartz as borough treasurer to the agenda of Thursday's meeting.

The decision is the first step in a two-part process of approving official borough business; the second step will be completed when the council officially votes on Swartz's appointment.

The position of treasurer has been open since the July 17 borough council meeting.

The council made the decision to open a combined Lower Anthracite Transit System (LATS) director and borough treasurer position after it was discovered that Megan Janolek, current LATS director and former borough treasurer, made numerous bookkeeping errors, including a $67,175.87 transfer of funds to reconcile a year-end discrepancy.

The treasurer duties were transferred to borough manager Edward T. Cuff III March 1 so Janolek could focus on managing LATS, but the open position includes both sets of duties.

It was not clear if the position is permanent or if it includes LATS duties.

Janolek's mistakes were discovered when an auditor announced she could not complete this year's audit due to the number of errors.

Several of the mistakes date to previous years, which Janolek said she had corrected but actually had not, Tony Matulewicz, borough council president, said later.

An independent accountant had to be brought in to straighten out the borough's finances. Matulewicz estimated the cost of the accountant would total near $2,000.

On July 21, the borough council was alerted that Janolek's mistakes extended to her LATS position when an e-mail from the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) notified borough manager Edward T. Cuff III that Janolek had failed to file a mandatory audit.

According to the e-mail, Janolek had been told several times that the audit was due June 30, and if Janolek failed to follow through with the audit, $552,378 in federal funding would be at risk.

Janolek was in attendance at Monday's meeting, but did not comment when Swartz's appointment was brought up. As of Monday, she was still employed with the borough as LATS director.

An additional item was added to the agenda to rectify errors made by Janolek.

A motion directing Matulewicz to execute the Community Development Block Grant Flagged Activities Reporting Schedule Reason for Delay and Remediation Plan will be voted on at Thursday's meeting.

The motion aims to resolve the missing audit with the state DCED that put nearly $500,000 in grant funding in jeopardy.