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Fiscal caution urged at council meeting

May 16, 2012
Morning Journal News

WELLSVILLE - Department heads were advised to carefully consider their spending choices at the Wellsville Village Council meeting on Tuesday.

Finance committee chair Diane Dinch urged fiscal caution on account of available general funds that are lower than the balance sheet would show due to village investments. She said that more than $1.2 million of the $1,279,586 in the general fund is currently invested with the State Treasury Asset Reserve of Ohio, a fund available to municipalities and other government entities in the state that is administered by the state treasurer's office. This leaves the level immediately available from the general fund at only $29,586. For similar reasons, the total of all village accounts, which looks to be at $1,604,000 is actually at $354,288.

"I'm asking department heads, watch your spending," she said. Dinch emphasized that the invested money could be retrieved at any time without penalty if necessary.

Dinch also moved to institute 88 hours of unnamed holiday pay as opposed to 11 approved holidays, since she said holiday shifts for emergency responders is double-time and a half. In this proposal, employees could draw from the 88 total hours in eight-hour increments, saving the village money by avoiding overtime. It was unanimously approved.

Mayor Susan Haugh recommended the appointments of Aaron Boston, a new part-time officer, to the village police department, and Zachary Bowling, Joseph Camerlin, Bradley Osborne and Briana Ross as new paid called firefighters at the village fire department. Both appointments were unanimously approved.

Haugh also announced a pair of new summer programs for the village. Wellsville will have its own community farmer's market beginning June 9 every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Behind the village hall on Main Street. The Columbiana County Department of Jobs and Family Services has also launched its 2012 Summer youth Employment Program for young people ages 16 to 24 who reside in the county and meet income eligibility requirements. More information on both programs is available at the village hall.

Councilman Tony Cataldo announced that a sum of $25,000 has been approved for a sidewalk construction program for the next four years, in which costs will be split 50-50 between the property owner and the village. The timeline for eligibility, which will be determined via a lottery system, will be: First through Sixth streets the first year, 11th through 17th streets the second year, seventh through 10th streets the third year and 17th through 22nd streets the fourth and final year. "It should spruce up the town pretty good," Cataldo said.

Legislation adopted during the meeting included resolutions to create a fund that would account for the monies raised by the police operating levy that was approved by voters last year, and to create a new fund for the demolition of derelict properties; money for the demolition fund will be appropriated at a later date. Ordinances authorizing the village administrator to advertise and receive bids for the sale of property, establishing three temporary part-time utility worker positions for use in an emergency, authorizing the purchase of road salt for the 2012-2013 winter season through the Ohio Department of Transportation, and authorizing the village to enter into a mutual aid agreement with the Columbiana County Homicide Task Force.

In other business:

* Mayor Haugh and administrator Thom Edgell offered their thanks to several residents for the voluntary efforts to clean up the village. Jeers, however, were supplied by Clifford Miller of Chester Avenue and Maurice Wise of Broadway, both of who had complaints about parking violations. Wise's persistent, extended presentation on the nature of the situation, which included what he stated to be direct quotes from her, led to a direct rebuke from the mayor. "You asked for a variance, I gave you my opinion, I will let council, but please don't put words in my mouth."

* Councilman Don Brown moved to authorize Howells & Baird Engineering to complete an application for a Federal Community Development Block Grant towards installation of catch basins on Commerce Street. It was approved unanimously.

* Edgell offered his compliments to village utility workers Kevin Fullerton, Jay Williamson, James Bauer and Mike Lombardozzi for all their hard work, accomplishing much with a relatively small crew. "I can always depend on them, and I really appreciate that" he said. "Job well done."



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