Bridgeport appoints new fiscal officer

BRIDGEPORT — The village of Bridgeport welcomed a new fiscal officer to the table on Tuesday, as council appointed Bobbie Geffney to the position.

Geffney took her place at the table with village council Tuesday, after being recommended to the council by Mayor David Smith and Village Solicitor Michael Shaheen. Geffney has 21 years of experience working as a fiscal officer for small villages, including Adena.

After being introduced to council, Geffney was approved and officially sworn in by Shaheen. Smith asked other members of council to be patient with her and let her get into the swing of things.

“I know that Mrs. Geffney is familiar with the challenges of small villages,” said Shaheen, who has worked with Geffney previously. “She’s extremely patient and understanding, and is very cognizant of what we need here.”

Geffney said that she was happy to join the team in Bridgeport, and that she enjoys her work and looks forward to getting started.

“It feels the same as it did in Adena,” she said. “I like seeing small villages get back on track.”

Council members then heard from Julie Ward, representing the Rural Community Assistance Program. Ward spoke to council in February regarding assessing the waste management system of the village. This time, she was here to discuss a similar assessment of the water system, which is required of Bridgeport by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Ward said the assessment will examine the underground infrastructure of the village, and determine if anything needs repaired or upgraded. Ward said that the Ohio EPA is offering up to $10,000 as part of a loan forgiveness program to help pay for the assessment, which costs $20,000, but cautioned council should apply quickly, as only 15 communities across Ohio will receive principal forgiveness.

After some discussion, the council approved authorization of the preliminary application. Smith encouraged council members to examine the agreement for further discussion at the next council meeting. Ward will also be present at the water board meeting on Nov. 14 if council members have any further questions.

In other business, Councilman Marvin Husarik said the village needs a second salt spreader for use in the winter months. The new spreader, made of stainless steel, should last a long time with proper maintenance and cut down on wasted salt, he said. Council approved Husarik to look into the purchase.

Smith announced that the village’s Board of Public Affairs has a vacant seat, noting any interested parties can contact the Water Department or the mayor’s office.

Smith also announced that the village’s application to the Southeastern Ohio Building Department has been approved. The mayor said anyone wishing to conduct business regarding the renovation or upgrades of buildings in Bridgeport must go through the department, located in Marietta.

The council discussed the potential of the partnership earlier this summer, with Smith saying then that the partnership could be beneficial to new businesses looking at Bridgeport as a potential location to set up shop, making it easier to open for business.

Council went into a brief executive session to discuss legal matters, emerging with no action taken.

Bridgeport Village Council meets regularly at 6 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month in the municipal building.