Village looking at ways to bolster budget

BELLAIRE Bellaire is facing the prospects of having to deal with a sizable budget gap in 2014.

Best-case scenario, if tax collections come in higher than expected, the village will still be showing a negative of somewhere in the $235,000-$240,000 range for its general fund.

Councilman Josh Meyer broached this subject recently with village council.

“I’ve been looking into leasing some of our properties to oil and gas companies,” Meyer began. “I’ve looked at all the property we own and tabulated I think it’s around 68-78 acres.”

Meyer asked Village Administrator Dan Marling if his figures were around the same and Marling agreed.

Marling also noted that the utilities committee has a vendor coming in soon to begin the process of selling water. The village previously passed an ordinance giving this potential revenue stream to OK.

Soon, it may come to fruition.

Mayor Vince DiFabrizio has also stated that the village is in preliminary discussions with the industry that may lead to a fruitful deal for the village.

He wouldn’t go into detail yet so not to put any potential deal in jeopardy.

But he did note should it come to pass, it will be a boon for the town.

Marling also asked council about two bids he received for potential demolition of a vacant house on Washington St.

One was for $6,400 and the other for $7,800.

When asked about how the village might pay for the demolition, fiscal officer Tom Sable noted that the village still has some demolition money to cover the cost.

DiFabrizio then noted that the lot, once the house was demolished, would be a perfect spot for a Habitat for Humanity house. He assured council it wouldn’t sit vacant long.

Councilwoman Lou Ann Bennett revealed that Nancy Wilson sold Vivid Graphics in town. She also noted that Stuff With Attitude from Steubenville purchased the business and all the former employees will stay on through the changeover and keep working.

In keeping with business news in the village, Meyer wanted to pass along thanks from Todd and Lori Vinka, owners of Lil Gerardo’s in Bellaire.

The Vinkas wanted to offer their thanks, especially to Code Administrator Bill Swoyer, for the assistance they received in moving their eatery to the corner of 32nd and Belmont streets.

Swoyer has had a busy two weeks.

Since Oct. 3, he’s issued 32 dilapidated property complaint letters with between 35-40 more to go. That’s in addition to 12 rental inspections, checking on 10 property complaints, and issuing 10 building permits eight residential and two commercial.

The next meeting of Bellaire Village Council will take place Thursday, Nov. 7 at 6 p.m. inside council chambers.

Hughes may be reached at