Official: Budget deficit looms

Council OK'd a second reading of a measure to sell the water treatment plant.
CAMPBELL -- City council adopted a 2005 amended appropriations budget that contains an estimated year-to-date deficit of $176,663.
"We're in bad shape," said Finance Director John Leskovyansky, whose report contained a final 2005 deficit of about $275,000, and an estimated multi-year cumulative deficit of $477,997 by year's end.
Leskovyansky said the city plans to address the deficit with proceeds from the operating agreement and potential future purchase of the city's water treatment plant by Aqua Ohio.
Council voted 4-1 for a second reading of an ordinance authorizing the board of control to enter into the agreement with Aqua Ohio. The third and final reading of the ordinance is scheduled for the regular council meeting Nov. 16.
If the water treatment plant agreement with Aqua is finalized by year's end, and if the needed permission is granted by the Ohio tax commissioner and the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, the deficit can be addressed, he said.
If the water plant deal falls through, it will be necessary to raise water rates $6 to $8 a month per customer, Leskovyansky said.
Other matters
In other action at its meeting Wednesday, council unanimously approved legislation that:
USupports passage of state Issue 1. It would authorize the state to issue up to $1.35 billion in bonds to help local governments with capital projects; and up to $500 million for research and development in support of Ohio businesses.
UAuthorizes the city to solicit proposals for a city engineer for the period of Dec. 1, 2005, to Nov. 30, 2006.
UAuthorizes the city to advertise for bids for the purchase of employee term life insurance and hospitalization, dental and eye care insurance; and to buy materials and supplies for city departments for a two-year period.

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