After months of discussion, Newcomerstown Village Council voted 5-to-1 last Monday evening to place a 1-1/2 mill, five-year cemetery levy on the November general election ballot.
"Doing something is better than nothing," said Newcomerstown Mayor Jim Friel. "We need to try to correct this."
If approved by voters, the levy would generate approximately $70,000 a year.
The village's cemetery fund finished 2011 with a deficit at $138,667.58. As of the end of June 2012, the cemetery fund had a negative balance of $157,943.36.
The mounting debt in the cemetery fund did not start overnight and will not be corrected overnight, officials said.
"We've done a lot of cutting but we don't know how else to generate the money," said councilmember Heather Stein-Wells.
The opposition for placing the measure on the ballot before the voters was made by councilmember Dave Hickman, who voted against placing the levy on the ballot.
"I don't agree to throw it on the taxpayer and say 'bail us out,'" said Hickman.
He asked if council has done everything they could to try to correct the problem.
"We're only putting a bandaid on a problem, you are not solving the problem," Hickman said.
But council decided to leave
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the matter up to the voters who will decide the fate of the cemetery fund and the proposed levy.
Meanwhile, council continued to voice opposition about the erection of a manufactured home at the corner of Heller Drive and State Street in the village.
"I had no say in it," Councilmember Sue Simmons said.
Mayor Friel issued the permit to Baker's Foods for the erection of the building on the site that is reportedly built too close to the road and not enough clearance for the crosswalk.
"You need to take sole responsibility for it," Hickman said to Mayor Friel.
Council said they hope this will not happen again and new measures will be put into place for any further construction in the village.
In other business, council thanked the Street Department for all of their hard work during the recent storm and power outage.
"You did a lot of hard work," said Stein-Wells to Street Superintendent Bob Martin.
Council also voted to remove the tree located in front of Dale Gress Real Estate and Epic Fitness on Main Street. The tree is causing a safety hazard by raising up the sidewalk and if you're parked in the parking spot beside the tree, you cannot get in and out of the passenger side of the vehicle. The Street Department will remove the tree.
The Shade Tree Commission will also look at the tree located in front of Ron Hickman's office on Main Street.
Council agreed to have both Martin and Cemetery Superintendent Mike Bryant learn each other's jobs and positions in the village in case one is on vacation or out of town.
Newton Asphalt will begin paving in the village Aug. 1 and it will be completed by Aug. 31.
Simmons asked council if a second road could be built at the Industrial Park. She said she would look into funding for that project, possibly through grants.
In other business, council agreed to hire three part-time dispatchers at the police department. They may work up to 30 hours with no benefits. That way, they would not have road officers sitting at a desk, Hickman said.
Council also approved a liquor permit for Slumber Ltd. or the Newcomerstown Hampton Inn for their new "sweet shop" inside the hotel where patrons can purchase beer, wine and small bottles of liquor.
Village residents also voiced concerns about residents living on Neighbor Street with an aggressive dog and a fence that will not withstand it. Mayor Friel said he would look into it.
Residents also asked about the security measures needed for a backyard swimming pool.
Council's next meeting will be Monday, Aug. 6 at 7 p.m. at the David Barber Civic Center.