The Newcomerstown Financial Planning and Supervision Commission may reject the approved financial plan for fiscal recovery at its next meeting, Sept. 30.
The commission decided to table a resolution last Thursday that would reject the financial plan submitted June 24 for failure to substantially comply with the plan and request the Village of Newcomerstown to submit an amended financial recovery plan. The recovery plan is one step in taking the village out of fiscal emergency.
The commission decided to table the resolution because financial statements for the village for June, July and August were not available for review by the commission at its meeting.
"Our hands are tied," said commission member Gary Baker. "We can't really do anything (until we know the numbers)."
Reportedly, the fiscal officer Beth Ferguson-Pollock and fiscal officer assistant Lisa Stiteler are working on getting the financial statements complete.
"This is a problem and needs to be addressed," said Laura Brown of the Auditor of State's Office.
Another reason the commission was going to reject the financial recovery plan was the fact that part of the recovery plan included a property tax levy. That levy was not able to be placed on the November ballot because of deadlines not being met. Instead, it is expected to be placed on the spring primary ballot.
"Overall, you make a plan, you have to stick with it," said Sharon Hanrahan from the Ohio Office of Budget and Management.
Commission member Jeff Staggs agreed.
"We have a document that's worthless at this point," he said. "I feel a little uncomfortable sitting here because we approved a document that's not being followed."
The financial recovery plan was approved two months ago by Newcomerstown Village Council, and the Newcomerstown Financial Planning and Supervision Commission.
Hanrahan said the commission will need a new plan once the village's finances are updated. She also questioned the village's decision to hire a full-time Street Superintendent and wondered if a cost analysis had been completed before applications were even being sought.
Newcomerstown Mayor Jim Friel said, "We're trying to keep costs down."
But no cost analysis had been done before applications had been sought, he said.
"It sounds to me that council is not going to follow the plan/appropriations," Hanrahan said.
If that is the case, the village will only receive 85 percent of the state allotted monies given to the village in 2012, she said. They will also remain in fiscal emergency.
The commission will meet again Sept. 30 at 10 a.m. at the Newcomerstown Church of Christ in Christian Union. The meetings are open to the public.