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1 step forward, 2 steps back for EL financial outlook

EAST LIVERPOOL – The city’s Finance Committee got a dash of good news during their meeting Tuesday; however, it did leave officials with a lot to think about.

Auditor Marilyn Bosco told Fred Rayl, Jeff Kreefer and Ray Perorazio that among the seven pieces they were considering recommending to council as the city’s CARES Act proceeds, which she estimated was more than twice as much as she envisioned earlier.

When council discussed establishing a COVID code section, Bosco had recommended that $50,000 be placed in the fund; however, she told officials that after talking to some municipal fiscal offices and revisiting their interpretations, Bosco projects that number to be closer to $111,000.

She will attend a zoom meeting about the process later this week, and distributions are expected to begin in October.

However, she also had some bad news. Not only can that money not be used for budget shortfalls, there is restrictions on what the funds can be used for and any money the city doesn’t use has to be returned at the end of the year.

In addition, she had some other bleak news.

Remember how the state docked municipalities using their traffic cameras by taking their Local Government Funds? East Liverpool will taking a $100,000 hit in 2021 due to their use before it was defeated at the polls.

The Finance Committee did approve some expenditures though.

For example, ten (10) new commercial trash containers to replace damaged ones and to put new ones into service; and another $30,000 will be allotted to begin repair or replacing many of the trash bag-wearing fire hydrants that are out of service, explained city Safety-Service Director David Dawson.

In addition, Baer Auctions is set to oversee an online auction of city personal property in the near future if council approves it.

Dawson said that the city already removed two vehicles from the list that will be repurposed and rebuilt for the street department.

The Finance Committee also agreed to ask the county auditor to certify the tax valuation for renewal of a five-year, two-mill levy for Thompson Park that will appear on the November general election ballot. The levy currently raises $174,000 for park operations annually that expires this year.

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