The aftermath of Newcomerstown Village Council's closing of Cy Young Pool on Feb. 17 continues.
A small group of concerned citizens charged with saving and re-opening the pool were present at last Tuesday's Village of Newcomerstown Financial Planning and Supervision Commission meeting.
Laura Brown of the Auditor's Office wanted to clarify some misconceptions about closing the pool.
By closing the pool, she said, there will be no other income in the park fund. Therefore, the park fund should be closed because there will be no income from the sale of pool passes this year.
But, there will still be expenses at the park, she said. There are utilities and general maintenance items that will need to be addressed and paid for but cannot be from the park fund.
"This is governmental accounting," she said. "Closing the pool doesn't give additional money to spend but gives the village less to spend because there is no revenue coming in."
Sharon Hanrahan, administrator of the Financial Planning Commission, said payroll cannot be taken from the fund because there is no money for staffing in that fund now.
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"It's a shame," she said about closing the pool.
Now the 2014 appropriations will have to be amended to reflect the closing of the pool and park fund.
Financial Planning Commission member Jeff Staggs questioned why the village didn't ask residents their input on a park and/or cemetery levy before closing the pool.
"I would have liked to have seen a levy on the ballot and let the citizens vote (before closing the pool)," Staggs said. "I'm very disappointed in that. I don't think this has been well thought out."
Hanrahan suggested that the pool should be run like a business enterprise. She said the village should have increased fees to help cover costs before closing.
It was questioned if a group or foundation would take over the operation of the pool and park. That way, the village would have no control or responsibility for it.
Also, would the village's liability insurance increase because the pool would be vacant.
Those questions would have to be directed to village council, Hanrahan said.
However, during the public participation portion of the meeting, the Rev. Ken Hacker presented a "marketing plan" for selling pool passes this year that would generate approximately $10,000. Although the commission thought it was a good idea, they cannot act on the matter. That's left up to council.
Former Recreation Board President Greg Bowman commended councilmember Heather Stein-Wells for her work on getting grants and money for the park this past year.
"I know Heather has tried and she can't do it all," Bowman said.
Stein-Wells cast the only "no" vote in closing the pool at council's last meeting.
Hanrahan also commended Stein-Wells for her work but was disappointed with the rest of council.
"Council doesn't look at the positive," she said. "They need to ask the community. There's no communication here. It's disappointing."