Committee discusses city revenue, costs

EAST LIVERPOOL — With no pending legislation to present for City Council’s consideration, its finance committee on Tuesday discussed briefly the need to look at increasing revenue and cutting costs.

Chairman Bill Hogue and member Ray Perorazio pondered the possibility of turning in insurance claims for damage at the now-closed outlying fire stations, such as a roof that has fallen in and a water heater that busted.

Hogue agreed that using revenue from such claims to make repairs could make the stations more marketable.

Collecting delinquent taxes and increasing the number of traffic tickets issued could also raise revenue, Hogue pointed out, saying perhaps the city should consider traffic cameras, especially at some intersections that he called “fairly dangerous.”

While the main purpose of such cameras would be safety, Hogue said, they would also result in additional revenue from tickets.

Auditor Marilyn Bosco said such cameras were considered by officials in the past but lawsuits were filed in other communities, challenging their constitutionality, and the idea was never pursued.

Hogue said he has already had a discussion or two with Bosco about the 2017 budget and said committee member Fred Rayl, who was absent from Tuesday’s meeting, also has some ideas he wants to propose for increasing revenue and cutting costs.

Bosco said she is working on the temporary 2017 budget and the “cleanup” ordinance for council’s consideration, noting that state auditors have said the cleanup ordinance used each year must be discontinued.

“We can’t wait until the end of the year to fix things,” Bosco cautioned.

Pointing out the county is also looking at a budgetary shortfall, Hogue said, “We’re in the same situation. We’ve really got to trim the sails from the get-go and if there are other sources of revenue, we have to pursue them.”

Council meets in regular session at 7 p.m. Monday.