Mayor presents fiscal plan

The mayor hopes the committee will present the plan to council next month.
GIRARD -- Mayor James Melfi hopes a plan he has designed can help the city get out of its fiscal emergency in four years.
Melfi says the plan's success depends on at least four elements:
UContracting for five to seven additional gas well drillings within the city limits;
UPassage of a one-quarter percent income tax for police levy in November;
UA favorable court decision allowing timber sale and mineral rights money to be transferred from the water department to the general fund.
UReducing fire and police staff by two each, through attrition.
If all these take place and the city can continue to keep health care and overtime to a minimum, the city could be in the black at the end of 2009, Melfi said.
"I'm hoping this can all be done without layoffs, but if our financial situation gets worse, then layoffs may be a possibility," the mayor said.
Melfi presented his plan to the finance committee Friday. He hopes the committee will present the plan to council next month.
Getting out of debt
The city is $1.4 million in debt and has been in fiscal emergency for the past three years.
This is the second plan the mayor has created. The first plan had the city getting out of fiscal emergency by 2012.
Melfi said he created the second plan after the fiscal oversight committee wanted the city to get out of debt sooner.
The mayor said that the city's financial woes can be attributed to increased employee costs and three projects that took place before his administration.
Melfi noted that in 1995 the city purchased Girard Lakes for $2.51 million and then in 1999 spent $5.2 million constructing the new justice center and $2.25 million improving parts of U.S. Route 422.

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