Green Team eyes new funding sources

BELLAIRE – The JB Green Team board of trustees approved several cost-cutting measures at its December meeting, and at its reorganizational meeting Monday night the focus was on finding new revenue sources.

The board began by electing new officers for 2014. Matt Coffland was named chairman, with new member Scott Fabian of Mingo Junction as vice chairman. Jefferson County Health Department Administrator Bruce Misselwitz will remain secretary.

“2014 will be tough,” Coffland told the board.

Executive Director Cliff Meyer, announced in October the parent company of the Apex Sanitary Landfill had sold its rail assets and transfer stations in New Jersey. The trustees voted 9-1 in favor of budget cuts in December approving the elimination of the grant program, a reduction of school funding through the paper recycling program and a reduction of township cleanup and tire collection projects.

“I think we will weather the storm,” Coffland added.

Misselwitz told the board he anticipates the last of the rail cars to dump this month, meaning out-of-state solid waste no longer will be delivered to the landfill in western Jefferson County.

The board also re-appointed Fiscal Officer Dave Hays, who said revenue was down 33 percent from last December and the net income for the last month of 2103 was a negative $3,353.13.

The executive director responded in his report and gave a brief presentation on additional revenue options as part of the financial reorganization.

“We lost 64 percent of our revenue in one fell swoop,” Meyer told the board, adding the projected shortfall for 2104 will be $736,000, with revenue forecast to drop from $2.3 million in 2013 to $1,045 million this year factoring in $395,000 in discretionary and capital expenses.

“We are looking at revenue additions and watching oil and gas drilling waste,” Meyer said.

He pointed out that with 56 wells in Belmont and Jefferson counties and 209 in the bordering counties of Carroll, Columbiana and Harrison, “That is a potential revenue of $56,000 in our two counties and $418,000 in the surrounding counties.”

A second option Myers presented for revenue addition is a designation fee. Proposed to be $1 to $1.50 per ton, it would yield a potential revenue of $46,000.

The third option is a tax assessment of $2 per improved parcel. The potential revenue from a tax assessment would be $180,000, which would equal a projected total of $474,000 from other sources.

Coffland said the board will continue to take a hard look at the budget and make decisions on any further cuts after reviewing the first quarter financial reports.

In other business:

– The board approved the re-appointment of William Weekley of Belmont County as the 15th member.

– Steubenville Mayor Domenick Mucci introduced new City Manager Timothy Boland.

– Tammy Shepherd, Belmont County Recycling Program director, presented an updated map highlighting the success of the litter enforcement programs in Belmont County. The map indicates 70 dump sites currently under investigation – two in Warren Township that are in the process of being cleaned up, four in Pease Township that already have been cleaned up and six other sites that are being examined in the prosecutor’s office.

The next meeting will be held Feb. 10 in Steubenville.