Council plans to explain expenditures at meetings

WELLSVILLE — Those attending village council meetings now will hear where Wellsville’s finances are going as invoices are approved. It started Tuesday.

Council approved with a 4-0 vote — members Tony Cataldo and Rosie Gibson were absent — all invoices, which totaled $9,589.40.

Councilman Randy Allmon then requested Fiscal Officer Hoi Black explain what money is being spent by the village, noting he recently spoke to the auditor and commented the village should discuss these expenditures during the meeting.

“At this meeting going forward, I think we should explain each one of these expenditures,” Allmon said. “We always skip through this, and we need to make it aware to the public. Talking to the auditor here the other day, he said we should explain these items.”

Black agreed to break down the finances for the public, which included $4,034 for Grand Ford to fix the front end and back axle for the township’s cemetery truck, $60 from Heaton’s Tire to repair a tire for a vehicle, $6.43 from Milligan and $300 from Meyers Equipment for purchase of street equipment, $20 for Fire Chief Barry Podwel as a reimbursement for       purchasing pad locks, $1,555 for a memorial paid donation, $233.99 and $209.98 for TNT Exhaust for police cruiser repair, $2,500 for yearly testing for the fire department through Warren Fire Equipment, and $660 from Tri-State Maintenance.

Allmon said he was informed by an auditor regarding Ohio Revised Code, which discussed liability for unlawful expenditures. In that code, any public official–whether it’s an officer, employee or other person–who unlawfully expends or authorizes the expenditure of public funds shall be personally held liable for the full amount paid from those funds. Allmon said he was surprised by this, and said he wished to take this more seriously in the future.

“When he (the auditor) brought that to my attention, I thought everyone here should know that, the public should know that, so I’m going to take this a little more seriously than I ever have,” Allmon said. “If down the road something happens, and even if we don’t do anything illegal, but we didn’t do it the right way, we’re personally responsible for that money. I’m going to make damn sure that I know what every one of these items are.”

Meanwhile, council approved a motion to adjust the fund balance from the Broadway Park fund to the Capital Improvement fund, with Black noting an accounting error.

Council also approved a motion to adopt a records retention schedule. Black explained that with the retention schedule, the village can be able to throw out records that are deemed unnecessary, whereas the village will need to keep records for an undetermined time as they go through audits.