Finances focus of Mingo council meeting

MINGO JUNCTION – Village finances were discussed during Tuesday’s Village Council meeting.

Village Auditor John Angelica told council the village budget line item for wages for staff at the Mingo Junction Senior Center only contained $123 and council members are going to have to make a decision about what to do.

“That fund already is in the red,” said Angelica, adding while there were some operating funds left for the center, the line item for employee wages was depleted. “I’m just telling you guys where we stand. You’re going to have to make a decision on that tonight.”

Angelica also said the fund didn’t contain enough money to pay for the village’s portion of any unemployment funds for staffers laid off, and they would have find funds from elsewhere in the budget.

“I don’t know where you’re going to get the funds for (unemployment benefits),” he said.

Several councilman said the village senior center eventually is going to be consolidated into a countywide senior center, as required by state government.

Council members decided to go into executive session concerning the matter.

Also in finances, village Administrator Howard Armstrong presented council with a seven-step plan to determine why the village is losing an estimated 84 million gallons of water per quarter. The plan includes an audit of all village fire hydrants, which Armstrong said would be the first logical step. Council also voted to re-organize the water department’s personnel structure. In a report to council, Armstrong noted the reorganization “places the most qualified individuals in the appropriate positions, and in compliance with the current union agreement.”

Additionally, council voted to allow the village solicitor to approach a Jefferson County Common Pleas Court judge to ask for permission to transfer funds from the village’s community complex fund to the general fund.

In other business:

Armstrong asked council to consider adopting a policy regarding pickup of trash and refuse. Council discussed the matter briefly, but no final decision was made. In his report, Armstrong said he was acquiring bids for construction of a concrete pad for the future site of a garbage compactor. Armstrong said he hoped the pad installation would cost less than $25,000.

Armstrong also asked council to consider updating the village’s policies regarding building demolition permits. Council agreed to his recommendations.

It was announced Mingo Community Days, sponsored by the Mingo Business Association, will be held Aug. 9-10.

It was announced patching of village streets would begin on April 1. It also was announced Village Police will begin enforcing litter laws and residents should clean up yards to avoid being cited.