SHAMOKIN - City officials made good on their word to repay Coal Township, which ordered a load of rock salt on Shamokin's behalf since the city is not in good standing with the distributor.

The payment was approved during Monday's city council meeting and on Tuesday, as planned, Mayor William D. Milbrand delivered a check to township Manager Rob Slaby totaling $5,195.78 for the 91.17 tons purchased last month from American Rock Salt.

"I knew they would. I was very confident they would," Craig Fetterman, township commissioner chairman, said of the city making the payment.

Fetterman said the township used funds from its capital reserve for the expense, which was formally approved by the commissioners last week.

"They helped us out when we needed a favor," Milbrand said Tuesday, adding that the city was thankful for the help.

The township wasn't alone in helping the city out as two local businessmen made separate donations.

John Hovenstine, owner of Brookside Landscaping, Route 61, Shamokin, donated 24 tons of salt valued at $2,180 to the city on Monday to assist with its financial crisis.

"You can't do a good job plowing without salt, so I just wanted to give back to the city I was born and raised in. This is a great area with great people and we all need to do our part," said Hovenstine, who has been in business since 1991.

Bob Olvany of Olvany Insurance Co., Market Street, Shamokin, donated $500 for snow removal, Milbrand announced during Monday's city council meeting.

An estimated $800,000 in unpaid bills had accumulated at the close of 2013, and city officials have been working to obtain a loan to pay off the debt.

Among those bills are outstanding debts to American Rock Salt, Milbrand said. He wasn't aware off-hand the amount Shamokin owes the firm.

Until that debt is paid off, it won't sell salt to Shamokin, Milbrand said, so the city had to turn to an intermediary. It's neighbor, Coal Township, agreed to make the order on Shamokin's behalf. The city, in turn, repaid Coal Township after the expense was formally approved by council.

City council has made efforts to reign in spending and limit purchases, specifically in the first quarter as it looks to limit the use of a $350,000 Tax Revenue Anticipation Note taken to start 2014 in lieu of the receipt of tax revenue. New policy mandates that any vendor invoices must be approved as part of the monthly bill list. Although the city could have made immediate payment to the township, council stuck to its new policy.