Village emphasis on ‘payroll first’

WELLSVILLE — According to Councilman John Morrow, employee payroll is a top priority regarding Wellsville’s limited spending.

Morrow — discussing topics from a Finance Committee meeting held earlier in the day — told council members Tuesday the committee is looking into ways to cut down on costs as the village can only spend 85 percent of its planned appropriations in February, per a resolution passed in December by the village’s Financial Planning and Supervision Commission.

The key focus, Morrow said, is to make sure all village employees will be paid. He also said Mayor Nancy Murray, who was absent from Tuesday’s meeting, is continuing to review her five-year forecast that is to be submitted to the state as part of the fiscal emergency period.

“We’re putting the emphasis on making payroll first, of course,” Morrow said. “The mayor’s working on her five-year forecast diligently, and we’re looking into some things that we can trim to help her with that.”

Per the resolution, council had until Jan. 22 to submit a brand new financial recovery plan, replacing a previously-approved plan that was rejected by the commission in November. If no plan was presented to the state by that date, or if a plan was presented but rejected by the commission, the village would be faced with the limitation per Ohio Revised Code.

No new plan was presented by that date and the limitation took effect for the month of February. It will be lifted once a plan is submitted to the state and approved by the commission.

In another matter, council president Randy Allmon commended the Wellsville Police Department for not using overtime last month, which he said was the first month in several of this happening.

“They’ve been doing some things to help with that, and I just want to thank them so much for that,” Allmon said.

Overtime has been a major cause of concern for council, as it has been considered a large part of the overspending as discussed by the commission in previous meetings.

Also related to finances, the latest list of invoices were approved, totaling $2,195.43.

The breakdown of the bills included $518 to Bill’s Service for thermostat repairs on two village cruisers and a fuel pump replacement on one; $85.91 to Carquest for an alternator for a GMC flatbed truck; $900 to the Columbiana County Career and Technical Center for an FFI class for new full-time fireman Frank Thorn; $480 to Heaton’s Tire Shop for left front wheel bearing on the Ford F-550; $67.08 to Lowes for supplies for the fire department; and $143.44 to One Click Away IT Services for the police department’s computer repair.

Fiscal Officer Hoi Black stated the computer repair payment will be made through a donation.

In other business:

— During public comment, Parkview Drive resident Michelle Walker, representing Eyes on Wellsville, requested permission from council to utilize Hammond Park for the non-profit organization’s annual Easter Egg Hunt on March 24.

Councilwoman Karen Dash advised Walker to contact the park board, to which Walker said she was advised to bring up the matter to council. Dash then stated that as long as the organization had signed their waiver, the village does not foresee any problems.

–Village solicitor Dominic Frank reported negotiations are currently ongoing in relation to the tipping fee for village businesses. He also mentioned he will be looking to have bid packages available for the cemetery property and the former Sky Bank building that is in the process of being sold.

The next council meeting is 6 p.m. Feb. 20 at Wellsville Village Hall.