Ailing Green Team

THE JB Green Team is a worthwhile entity spanning two Eastern Ohio counties — those being Jefferson and Belmont.

The Green Team has done much to help clean up the local landscape while also spreading monetary donations to many organizations. JB Green team has etched a positive place in Eastern Ohio.

However, these are not the best of times for JB Green Team. It finds itself mired in constraining financial straits.

So much so that the dual-county unit has been forced to go on a budget-slashing mission. The cutbacks commenced during the JB board of trustees meeting this week.

The reductions are unfortunate but appear necessary for Green Team survival, or at least viability.

Trustees approved the elimination of their grant program, a reduction of school funding through the paper recycling program and a reduction of township cleanup and tire collection projects.

Those are deep and painful cuts.

Martins Ferry may feel the impact, as the recently implemented curbside recycling pilot programs in Ferry and Steubenville may be placed in the dumpster in their infancy. That would be a disappointing turn events to both communities.

The one positive piece of news emanating from the meeting was the board’s sparing the immediate budget cuts for the litter enforcement programs in Jefferson and Belmont counties and the Jefferson County Health Department.

The cuts were approved by a 9-1 vote. Martins Ferry Mayor Paul Riethmiller was the lone dissenting vote. His stance was understandable with the fate of curbside recycling hanging in the balance.

The JB Green Team’s financial issues did not come as a surprise. The budget cuts were the focus of an emergency board meeting in October. However, the extensive nature of the cutbacks are disturbing.

Board Chairman Bob Chapman said the budget cuts will provide the solid waste authority with approximately $630,000 in cash reserves.

The JB Green Team has meant much to Jefferson and Belmont counties.

Hopefully, the budget cutbacks instituted by the board of trustees will solidify the financial standing the Green Team, while also enabling it to regain its once solid stature.