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Village of Flushing council seeks community funding

FLUSHING — Village Council is seeking funding for the community through the Coronavirus Aide, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Council passed a resolution Nov. 19 that is required to apply for federal CARES Act money and discussed the best uses for any money received.

The deadline to do so is approaching.

Fiscal Officer Jeryl McGaffick said she had a resolution prepared for council to consider that evening and that she believed the village would be receiving $94,500. She added that officials would not have long to decide how to use that funding.

Lori Mann, representing the Flushing Fire Department, addressed council saying she had spoken with each member prior to the meeting. She also had submitted a list of items the department could use that would fit the criteria for the funding, which is intended to help local governments offset costs associated with combating the spread of COVID-19.

Mayor Angelo Vincenzo said that of the items listed on the fire department’s list, he didn’t think payroll was an appropriate use. Mann said she had been told that he wanted to be cautious to ensure that the village didn’t get stuck having to repay money that was spent incorrectly.

Council discussed the possibility of purchasing a truck so village crew members could go to job sites separately or possibly an additional police cruiser.

Councilman Preston Eberhart, who also works for the fire department, said the department’s air packs would need replaced within the year and represent a major expense that could possibly be paid for by using the money.

Kathy Kelich, chairwoman of the Belmont County Land Reutilization Corp., was at the meeting to announce that work on the property at 210 Pearl St. had been completed. She said the structure and several recreational vehicles had been removed and grass planted.

Vincenzo thanked Kelich, saying, “I’m sure a lot of people on that street are going to be very happy.”

When asked about another property on East High Street that had been a proposed target for the land bank’s assistance, Kelich said that was a more difficult situation due to one of the two parcels that make up that property being sold at an auditor’s sale at some point. That complicated the title work required, but she said there might be some light at the end of the tunnel and that she would let them know if progress occurs.

In his monthly report, Village Administrator Brian Clark said that recent attempts to hire new crew members had not yielded any results, in part because of the low starting wage and insurance offered by the village.

Vincenzo later elaborated, saying he had interviewed a young man who was willing to leave his current employer but the $12 per hour the village offers and the lack of a family insurance plan for employees were the reasons he did not take the job.

Vincenzo added, “We have to make a decision at some point what we’re doing about our pay scale.”

During Police Chief Paul Leek’s report, a discussion was held between Leek, Vincenzo and council President John Jozwiak concerning certain businesses in the village not wanting their parking lots used by the police while on patrol.

Flushing Village Council is scheduled to meet again at 6 p.m. Dec. 10 in the old Municipal Building.

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