Solving a Deficit

BELLAIRE FINDS itself in a financial bind. Make that a major financial bind.

Even if a better-than-expected tax collection yield should play out, the All-American Town will be staring at a $235,000-$240,000 budget shortfall. For a town of just more than 4,000 residents, that is a deep hole to dig out of.

The gas and oil boom that is infiltrating the Ohio Valley has not found its way into Bellaire. Village officials still harbor hopes that the shale industry can pump life into Bellaire coffers.

Village officials have assessed that 68-78 acres of land are available for leasing purposes. While not an economic savior, such an amount of leased land for oil and gas rights could go a long way in easing many a financial burden.

However, such a deal is not on the horizon.

Another possibility is Bellaire’s ample supply of water. It is also a commodity in great demand. Moreover, a water agreement could be executed in quick fashion.

With limited revenue-generating options at hand, Bellaire village officials would be wise to pursue an agreement to sell water with a great sense of urgency as well as moving on an oil-gas leasing deal.

Hopefully, one or the other provides the village with a viable solution to stop the flow of red ink.