Mingo finances focus for village council

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

Village resident Ed Connor asked council members what they intended to do with $362,999 from the village Community Complex. Jefferson County Common Pleas Court Judge David Henderson issued a ruling allowing the village to transfer to the village’s general fund two weeks ago.

Connor asked how the village was going to deal with what he contended was a substantial reduction in the village’s income tax collection because of the action. He also asked if council was going to form a contingency plan on how to financially proceed.

John Angelica, village auditor, said the village’s tax rate was reduced from 2 percent to 1.975 percent due to the fact the village would no longer be collecting funds for the complex fund. Angelica added the village’s projected tax collection would amount to an anticipated reduction of $1,750 annually.

Councilman Mike Herrick said the village had no intention of spending the funds, and the village soon would be setting up a contingency fund and taking the funds out of the general fund.

“In our minds, that money won’t be spent,” said Herrick, adding the money would only be used in case of an emergency.

Herrick added the village was in the early stages of forming a contingency plan.

“We will have work sessions, and the public will be invited,” Herrick said.

Connor asked village officials to “open up meetings” and “ask us for help. There are a lot of very smart people here.”

In other matters:

Angelica said the number of delinquent village water customers was between 400 and 500 residents.

“We can’t run a (water department) this way,” he said, adding the village was losing substantial revenue. “That’s an absurd (number of delinquent accounts).”

Council discussed whether members wanted to change the village’s water billing policies or shut off service to delinquent customers.

Steve Maguschak, village police chief and acting village administrator, said he’d obtained estimates on replacing the roof of the Municipal Building.

“We’re going to need a new roof,” said Maguschak, adding he received an estimate of $50,000 to replace the roof. The roof began leaking in council chambers during the meeting.

Council members suggested Maguschak investigate whether it would be less expensive to use a steel truss roof instead. Maguschak said he would look into the matter.

It was announced the village’s new website was up and running, at www.mingojct.us. Council thanked Michael Maguschak, son of the village police chief, for volunteering to set up and maintain the site.

Council voted to place a 6-mill replacement levy for village services, including garbage collection, on the November ballot. The levy would replace the current village service levy to bring in more revenue for village services.

It was announced the village’s new trash compaction system would be online by July.

There will be a water and sewage committee meeting at 9 a.m. July 15 with a recreation committee meeting to immediately follow. Both meetings will be in council chambers.