Mingo OKs finances for three months

Clerk optimistic about village’s 2017 budget

MINGO JUNCTION — Village Council on Tuesday made three-month temporary appropriations that will fund village operations until a permanent budget is finalized.

Clerk James Huggins said he still is working on revenue estimates for this year. He said the village had a $655,000 carryover going into this year, with about one-half funding the three-month temporary appropriation.

Huggins said he is optimistic about the village’s 2017 budget. He said, depending on what happens with the mill reopening, the village will receive additional income tax revenue. He noted emergency medical services billing also is expected to increase with new fees being put into place and the village going after money owed for the service.

The Frontier Group of Cos. announced in November the sale of a section of the steel plant in the village to Acero Junction. Acero Junction is in the process of readying the 80-inch rolling mill for operations. Contractors have been working in the plant and paying income taxes to the village.

The village also is seeing a $36,000 savings in electricity costs since all the lightbulbs in village buildings were replaced with LED fixtures, Huggins said.

Council will meet at 9 a.m. on Saturday with the five department heads to hear budget requests.

Councilman George Irvin, chairman of council’s water and sewer committee, said the water fund ended the year with a surplus of more than $200,000. As a result, the village was able to make its annual loan payment on the water plant. He said the water fund at the end of 2015 ended with a surplus of only a couple thousand dollars.

Bob Smith, village administrator, said water leak detection equipment on loan to the village found two leaks — one on Montgomery Lane and the other off Sycamore Street. He said the village may consider purchasing its own water leak detection equipment.

Mayor Ed Fithen reminded residents rubbish can only be placed at the curb for collection on the last Tuesday of the month. Councilmembers have been complaining that rubbish is placed at the curb days, even weeks, in advance.

(Law can be contacted at mlaw@heraldstaronline.com.)