The Village of Newcomerstown is almost through the first month of the new year but its not been a happy new year.
There is much concern at the present time due to the fact that the general fund and local tax revenues are both considerably lower than this same time last year.
Council member Dave Hickman informed village council Jan. 18 about a recent report from the local tax office and the village fiscal officer, that the general funds are approximately $130,000 less than last year and local income tax revenue is about $90,000 less. Hickman said the income tax office informed him that they are concerned about the revenue numbers and feel if local taxes are not improved by September, the village could see some very serious financial problems before the year ends.
Mayor Steve Guy replied that the village is aware and has the same concerns for the past few months. He said a drastic cut in all unnecessary spending has been in effect the past couple months.
"We (village) will just wait and see what happens in the next three to four months. There is no indication of any positive outcome at this point. We can only wait and hope that the decrease in spending shows some type of improvement," Mayor Guy said.
Other council included:
* Council member Hickman suggested a possible sale of unused street department equipment. Village solicitor, Shawn Lindsay was agreeable to check on the legalities of possibly selling the equipment if council is in favor.
* Mayor Guy said OSHA will be conducting a review of the village's water, street and cemetery departments Jan. 19.
* Mayor Guy also said the village is looking into a program for the local school system to get a police officer involved with the school system on a regular basis. Guy said there were earlier concerns from the school regarding funding for the project but they are since looking into specific types of funding. Guy said he felt the program was important and that he would like to see the program become active within the next couple months if possible.
* Northpoint Engineering will relocate two of the gas monitors at the landfill site within the next week due to recent inspection findings.
* Council approved a deadline of March 1 for two street department employees to complete Class A and B certification as part of the probationary status requirements.
* Council also approved establishment of the rate of pay for village employees, adding the following: Group 3 Street Department, Title: Seasonal laborer; winter plowing (not to exceed 20 weeks) at a rate of $10.09 per hour. Job duty requirements: Experience in plowing, Class A and B CDL certification.
* Council approved advertising for the seasonal laborer position: Snow plowing.
* Council member Janet Bush said she had recently attended the Newcomerstown Chamber of Commerce meeting and said the chamber is inquiring about the possibility of new light posts for Main Street as part of the proposed "Downtown Beautification Project." Chamber's plan is to display banners on the light posts.
Council's next meeting is Monday, Feb. 1 at 7 p.m.