Powhatan officials facing tough decisions

POWHATAN POINT Village officials will be taking a hard look at the town’s finances in the coming weeks.

“We’re going to have to make cuts to the bare bones,” said Councilman Jerry Binni as he reviewed the report submitted by Clerk-Treasurer Lisa Armann-Blue. The treasurer, nodding her head in agreement, told council that “the village [general fund] will be in a deficit soon.”

The clerk-treasurer reported the fund is currently at $107,000, adding there are two large bills and a payroll due. She indicated the fund will be reduced to about $82,000 when these bills are paid.

In addition to payroll, the bills include the general fund’s portion of premiums for the village insurance and Workers’ Compensation.

“The mayor needs to authorize all purchases,” said Binni.

“I’m already doing that,” replied Mayor Mark McVey.

The finance committee indicated it will meet within the next few days to map out a path to financial savings.

Council President Pro-Tem Brady Dierkes said he has reviewed the costs associated with having the police station housed in The Maples building. “We’re throwing a lot of money away over there,” he said. Dierkes pointed out the utilities were $8,000 last year, plus there were costs associated with grass, waterline breaks and other maintenance.

Officials eyed the police department housing situation a few years ago and the price tags on proposals were unreachable. Dierkes, at Tuesday night’s meeting, suggested council’s building and grounds committee, along with Police Chief Joshua Haught, obtain information regarding what is mandatory in a police station and decide what can be done.

In other matters:

  • Officials held an executive session to discuss possible litigation, a pending agreement and personnel.
  • Council commended street department employees George Hess, Larry Kenney and Mark Boger for doing “a fine job” with snow removal during the recent snow storms
  • Mayor McVey reported the cost of a new telephone system is $4,656. “We’ll use the one we have,” he laughed.

It was reported that the Switzerland of Ohio school board will meet at the new Powhatan Elementary School Thursday, beginning at 6 p.m. It is expected to discuss a levy.