Commission OKs more funds

The appropriations included $60,000 more for the municipal court.
GIRARD -- The state-appointed fiscal commission overseeing the city's financial matters approved around $1.5 million in additional appropriations for 2006, including $60,000 more for Girard Municipal Court.
The appropriation brings the total money the city gave the court this year to $800,000, which is the same amount the court received in 2005.
Judge Michael Bernard of Girard Municipal Court and city officials have battled in court over the funding, as the city has sought ways to cut costs to bring Girard's budget out of fiscal emergency.
A 2005 court survey showed the average employment of 33 municipal courts was 11 full-time employees and an annual caseload of 8,900, while Girard Municipal Court has 151/2 employees with an annual caseload of 7,300.
City council approved the appropriations at Monday night's meeting, but the commission members must approve all appropriations because the city is in fiscal emergency.
Auditor Samuel J. Zirafi said the city has about $250,000 in special fund accounts that Judge Bernard can return to the city's general fund at the end of the year if he does not use the money.
Other appropriations approved at Thursday's meeting were:
$430,000 for legal fees and money owed to citizens involving the removal of the camera to catch speeders in the city.
$80,000 for the street department to get ready for winter and buy a new truck.
$165,000 to the sewer department for increased hospitalization costs and the building of a garage to secure equipment.

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