SABINA — Unless steps are made to offset it, the village fiscal officer expects the General Fund to be short about $100,000 this year.
“I’m looking for suggestions to cut costs in the General Fund,” Sabina Fiscal Officer Nancy L. Cornell told village council Thursday night.
The General Fund is separate from the village’s Water, Sewer, Sanitation, Street Maintenance & Repair, and Pool Enterprise Funds.
Cornell made her comments the same night that village council passed a measure that anticipates total General Fund expenses in 2016 to be $385,248.
Much of General Fund expenditures goes toward the Sabina Police Department, said Councilwoman Peggy Sloan, who chairs the Police & Finance Committee.
“Nobody wants to hear about levies,” Sloan said. “But at some point we may have to think about a police levy, even if it only takes care of one person for one year.”
She thinks the projected shortfall in the General Fund is due largely to the past loss of factory jobs in town having caught up this year with village coffers.
When Mac Tools, Palm Harbor Homes, and Bundy Tubing were operating here, it was possible, in conjunction with a 1 percent earnings tax, to have cash reserves carry over into a new year, said Sloan.
But there was only about $21,000 in carryover dollars going into this year, according to Cornell.
In his State of the Village speech Thursday, Sabina Mayor Dean Hawk also noted the situation with the General Fund.
“The money for the General Fund comes from taxes and is severely limited by the economy of our community,” said Hawk.
The mayor added, “We must be very careful with our spending until we can see more daylight.”
In the mayor’s report on progress being made on priority goals, Hawk said new Sabina Councilman Jim Mongold has stepped up to fill the role of a volunteer who will be trained to write and acquire grants for Sabina.
In giving a report on the SRWW Joint Fire District 2 and EMS, Sloan said the department needs more people. Interested persons who qualify would have their training paid for, said Sloan, adding they would have to pass background and drug tests.
She urged anyone who is interested to go to the fire station on South Jackson Street and inquire.
In another matter, Pat Herring-Curtis and her husband had questions about a proposed snow emergency ordinance that would regulate parking for a section of Howard Street during a snowfall greater than two inches. They live on the 100 block of North Howard Street and do not have off-street parking.
The aim of the proposed law is to enable state trucks to plow snow without the obstacle of parked cars on the roadway. It would require that vehicles not be parked on a specified portion of Howard Street (State Route 729) between 2 to 6 a.m. when the snow accumulates more than two inches.
In response to the couple’s thoughts expressed during public comment, Hawk said he thinks the two-inch condition could be adjusted upward. The proposal applies to Howard Street from Lewis Avenue on the south to the railroad tracks on the north.
The proposal is scheduled for further discussion in the Sabina Municipal Building at 4 p.m. Feb. 9 during a council Infrastructure Committee meeting, which like all committee meetings is open to the public. Council’s vote on the question may occur on Feb. 11.
In other news from council chambers:
• The Planning & Records Committee is expected to review a recent requirement to post proposed legislation in five spots around Sabina. Hawk said the postings have caused some confusion by people who believe the measures are already laws, rather than proposals.
But Councilmen Bill Lewis and Bob Storer as well as resident Abe Arnold indicated Thursday they favor publicly posting proposed legislation. Lewis said council works for the citizens and citizen input can affect how ordinances get written.
A more informed citizen, said Lewis, is more likely to be a good citizen.
• Sabina business owner and county commissioner candidate Mike McCarty addressed council about his candidacy. He followed up on Sloan’s comment about the need for firefighters and EMTs by saying he will publicize the need on his business sign, located on well-traveled U.S. Route 22 in the village.
• Following an executive session, council voted 5-1 to approve Melissa Upthegrove as the director of law and village prosecutor. The salary will be $9,600 annually for two years.
Attorney Sean Abbott was also under consideration.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.