Woodsfield seeks income tax hike

WOODSFIELD has had a 1 percent municipal income tax since 1974, and village council this week decided to seek a half percent increase on the May primary ballot.

An ordinance regarding the proposed increase was adopted under suspension of rules during the regular meeting this week after an executive session, requested by Solicitor William E. Frank Jr.

In a press release, Frank noted that for almost four decades, “the village of Woodsfield has held its income tax rate without any increase while many other villages and cities have responded to the relentless realities of increasing, challenging costs by raising their municipal income tax rates.”

If the half percent hike is approved by the voters, the village’s income tax rate will be changed to 1.5 percent, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

Frank noted that from now until the election, council “anticipates offering the opportunities for citizens to reasonably express their opinions and for council to share information on this issue.”

He also said village council is proud of the quality of standards of service and care that have become part of the quality of life in Woodsfield. “A partial list of those services includes law enforcement, street maintenance, snow event management, and the reliable, cost-efficient provision and maintenance of municipal utility offices.”

In other matters, village council approved an ordinance to accept the annual appropriations totaling $7,613,832.08.

Village Administrator Rick Schuerman reported on the water-related problems which occurred during the weekend when frozen water pipes in two vacant, unheated buildings broke. While explaining the problems, he pointed out the village’s water tanks were never empty. A 48-hour boil order, which has ended, had been placed into effect.

Councilwoman Carol Hehr commended all village employees and their cooperation during the water problems, and other council members agreed.

In addition to the executive session requested by the solicitor, council held an executive session requested by Paul Robison of the sewer department. No action was taken after the session concerning that department.