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Council passes temporary budget for new year

December 20, 2012
Morning Journal News

EAST LIVERPOOL - A 2013 temporary budget with little difference from this year was passed unanimously Monday night by City Council, who indicated it will most likely fluctuate as the year progresses.

Auditor Kim Woomer said the $14.3 million budget reflects an additional $5,000 she decided to place in the municipal swimming pool fund because Mayor Jim Swoger "has put in enough of his own money" to keep it operating each year.

Woomer noted that, while the pool is supposed to be an enterprise fund that is, self-supporting it never is and said the $5,000 "is not a lot, but a little" to help the mayor keep it open for the public.

Council passed the budget with no comment.

Ohio Avenue resident Linda Ziegler addressed council about dilapidated buildings, saying, "The city has no one to blame but itself for the condition of downtown buildings. There are laws on the books for maintaining buildings in the historic district."

Ziegler asked if anyone has been cited and the status of any legal cases against those cited, saying, "Enforce the laws. Tearing down the Sherwin-Williams building (as has been proposed) will be like a gap-toothed old person."

She also asked if the street department could remove parking meter poles still standing along city streets, since they are no longer used.

Lastly, Ziegler complained that the city's inspector is not using the rental property standards she drafted as a councilman several years ago, saying he is, instead, basing his inspections on standards used for buying a home.

"I don't think 25 percent of the houses in the city could pass the rigorous rules in that book," Ziegler complained, saying inspection rules need to be consistent across the board.

In other legislative matters, council also approved a "clean up" ordinance to bring all funds into line for the end of the year and an ordinance to pay $3,000 for software for Municipal Court.

Councilman Ray Perorazio presented two liquor permit applications, one for the Convenient Mart on Lisbon Street and one for Dollar General on Walnut Street, asking for any objections.

Councilman Sherrie Curtis suggested a hearing might be needed for the dollar store, which currently does not sell liquor, but Councilman Chuck Wade pointed out Rite Aid across the street does, and he has no problem with the other store also selling it.

No objections will be filed for the permits.

In his remarks, Mayor Jim Swoger reflected on 2012, saying, "It's been a long time since I've been able to work with council. This council has researched and done its job. It's been a pleasure working with you. I hope 2013 will be the same."

Council members voiced their condolences for the families involved in the Connecticut school shooting and asked for prayer for those involved, with Curtis noting the irony in seeing on television emergency personnel handling that tragedy involving children and then, a few days later, seeing city police officers taking local children shopping for the annual Cops and Kids program.

She asked that everyone also keep the city's first responders in their prayers.

Councilman Russell Dray also commended all those who volunteered to maintain city playgrounds during the year, saying, "I appreciate it."

Councilman Scott Barrett commended Ziegler and other residents for stepping up to the podium to voice their concerns and questions, saying he appreciated it.



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