Money transfer is approved by judicial official

MINGO JUNCTION – Village Solicitor Ernest Wilson told Village Council Tuesday a Jefferson County Common Pleas Court Judge has approved council’s request to transfer $362,999 out of the community complex fund into the general fund.

Wilson said the entry from Judge David Henderson won’t be filed until today.

The community complex fund receives a small percentage of a 1 percent income tax. Council in 2011 decreased the percentage earmarked for the community complex fund, putting more money into the general fund because of decreasing revenue. Wilson said only about $1,500 is now annually collected for the community complex fund.

Wilson said he wasn’t aware of the details of Henderson’s ruling and whether the village will have to decrease the amount of income tax that was collected and earmarked for the community complex fund.

Three former members of the village administration, including Domenic Chappano, former mayor, voiced opposition to the transfer during a court hearing in May before Henderson.

Chappano said he considers Aracoma Park the village’s community complex. He said the swimming pool will need expensive repairs in the years ahead. He said the village doesn’t have the money in its general fund to make those repairs and the community complex fund money could be used.

Judy Ruckman, a former member of council, said council had received an opinion from a former village solicitor that the park was considered a community complex.

The current council agreed to only use the community complex money for emergencies and not day-to-day expenses.

Council was forced to meet in the basement of the Municipal Building on Tuesday because a leak in the roof caused part of the drop ceiling in council’s chamber to collapse.

Mayor Ron DiCarlo said the roof was replaced in 2010 and had a 10-year warranty, but Councilman Chuck Dickey said the company that installed the roof has gone out of business.

Dickey said Steve Maguschak, temporary village administrator, has contacted another roofing company to make repairs.

Council also was informed filters have been changed at the swimming pool that have improved water quality but the heater isn’t working. Also, parts have been ordered to make repairs to valves at the splash pad, which just opened after being constructed. Council said either the contractor or the manufacturer will have to pay for the parts because it is under warranty.

Council also was informed the trash compactor project being built in the south end of Commercial Avenue will be operational in July. Council believes the compactor will save money in manpower costs in transporting garbage to a landfill. Only one truck will collect the garbage and routes throughout the week may have to be adjusted.

Councilman Michael Herrick said members of the Mingo Revitalization Committee have been volunteering to cut grass at the cemetery. He said the committee also is planning more painting projects at Aracoma Park. A mural was painted by Indian Creek High School students on the former bathhouse. He added improvements are being made at Potter Springs.

Ed Connors of 123 Parr Ave. voiced complaints to council about the lack of an agenda for council meetings. He said residents aren’t aware of what will be discussed at meetings. He said the lack of an agenda leads to council not having a plan for moving the village forward.

Council’s finance committee is set to meet at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Municipal Building.