Wellsville finances will end the year in the black

WELLSVILLE — The village will end with a positive general fund balance, possibly in six figures, Mayor Nancy Murray reported this week.

During Tuesday’s village council meeting, Murray provided an update on the general fund as the village has now been in fiscal emergency for two years.

Murray said that as of Tuesday the village currently has a positive balance of $66,000 in the general fund and is petitioning the county Common Pleas Court for a transfer of $140,000 from its capital improvements fund to the general fund. That money came from the sale of property and timber.

Murray said the transfer will bring the village’s general fund up to a balance of more than $200,000, which she said could be finalized by the end of this year or by January.

“All of that, like, timber and the things we sold to get us out of fiscal emergency, we’re going to transfer that into the general fund, and that will leave us with a…positive fund of $200,000 either by the end of this year or January,” Murray said. “So we have really moved along here. Things are really looking bright in Wellsville, finally.”

Murray said that while all of the village’s funds are now reporting positive balances and there is a five-year forecast and a financial recovery plan in place it is still not off the hook in regard to its fiscal emergency. The village will have to wait to hear from state auditor Dave Yost’s office before it is taken out of fiscal emergency, she said.

Murray also gave updates on other improvements, including renovations to the sewage plant in which the village applied for an RCAP grant. If the grant is approved, the village will have around $1 million to work with.

In addition, the village is also awaiting word on $900,000 in grants for improvements to the truck route. She said both projects are expected to begin in March.

Tenth Street resident Mike Varish offered his words of support, noting how far the village has come since Murray became mayor at the start of 2016.

“It appears to me that when this administration took office it was handed a bag of crap, I mean, big time,” Varish said. “Wellsville gets the bad rap for everything. Right around Salineville, that’s where we are, and maybe not above them anymore, but I truly believe that there are people up there who do really care and who actually try.”

Varish also directed criticism toward social media sites, one of which he called out was Wellsville Issues 2.0, which Varish considered “a crock.”

He also praised Hoi Black, fiscal officer, saying “Wellsville is very fortunate to have somebody that smart and that caring and tries to do the job.”

He then directed his ire toward former council members and other officials who are no longer employed in the village, while continuing to commend council on the work they’ve done so far.

“We’ve had a lot of people quit on council. Quit,” Varish said. “If they cared about this town so much, why did they quit? What we’ve got here is people who care.”