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Poland village panel to recommend cuts in face of projected $200K deficit


Published: Thu, April 12, 2012 @ 12:09 a.m.

By Ashley Luthern

aluthern@vindy.com

POLAND

Seeking to lower a projected $200,000 deficit, the village’s finance committee will recommend a series of cuts at council’s Tuesday meeting.

Most of the suggested cuts, such as elimination of the leaf pickup program, are in the street department, which the committee said needs $20,000 from the general fund to remain operational this year.

Street Commissioner Russell Beatty said he would wait to hear the committee’s specific recommendations Tuesday before commenting.

The finance committee consists of Councilmen Robert Limmer, David Raspanti and Marc Cossette and village Clerk-Treasurer Linda Srnec.

“We decided to get more austere,” Limmer said.

Cossette originally voted against the 2012 budget, which has a projected $203,523 deficit, because “we made no attempt to balance it before we passed it.”

Raspanti said now seems like a tipping point as council considers a $20,000 expense for a new leaf machine, the upcoming renewal of a 2-mill operations levy and voter rejection of the storm-water utility ordinance last November. The storm-water ordinance had set up a fee of $3.50 per one equivalent residential unit, or every 2,500 square feet, to be used for storm-water projects.

“All department budgets have seen cuts. ... We asked them to cut costs last year, and this year, we only gave them what they used last year. Our employees have had four years of no salary increases,” Raspanti said.

The village has 11 full-time employees, Srnec said.

Srnec said the village has had deficit budgets since 2009. This year, the village is expected to spend $828,521 and bring in $624,998 in revenue.

In spite of that, “the village has always pulled the rabbit out of the hat,” Cossette said.

The deficits weren’t felt immediately because yearly inheritance-tax collections — which were never included in the township’s budget — softened the blow, as did the village’s State Treasury Asset Reserve (STAR) Ohio investment fund. The village deposited mostly inheritance tax into the STAR account. Earlier this year, state lawmakers abolished the inheritance tax beginning in 2013.

The STAR account has about $916,000 in it, down from than $1 million, Srnec said.

If the village finances continue as they are, “it’s inevitable that we use the STAR account for operations” instead of capital improvements, such as replacing a road department truck, she said.

The finance committee also is expected to ask council to consider a replacement or additional levy as a way to generate revenue.

If the village drained the STAR account for operational expenses, had no new revenue sources and no large emergency expenditures, the money would last until 2017, Srnec said.

Committee members, however, said that plan likely would draw criticism from state auditors.

“We want to stay away from fiscal watch and emergency because then the books would be turned over to the state, and they will make all the decisions,” Raspanti said.

Srnec said that when it comes to the STAR account, village officials are trying to make decisions that will benefit residents or council members in the future.

“If we spend it, how would that be responsible of us?” she said.


Comments

1UticaShale(854 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Brilliant leadership again in Mexico's sister City Youngstown and its surrounding suburbs. Poland Village had a gift horse looking them right in the eye, bringing millions in energy payments and the clowns said no. Well then, you can use the leaves now for energy, may save you some pennies. Or, you can heat your Village hall with cow dung , cutting off NG will save you thousands. Yes, here is a good Idea, have the Poland Village police start using bicycles, look at all the fuel dirty oil cost the Village will save! Yes, let's all go green.

Meanwhile, all the landowners and home owners in Poland are leasing as fast as the energy companies show them the lease. Soon they will have the required 65% and be able to force pool the Poland Woods anyway and not pay a bonus fee, again the intellect of Mahoning county people.

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2Tottenham1(2 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Time for the village police to make up that deficit! Im sure you will see the brown shirts out giving tickets for 25 and a half in the 25 on 224, and other ridiculous harrassment they are well known for regionally. Maybe at the Celebrate Poland Festival this year they will have a Celebrate the Deficit float and behind it they can have their Celebrate the Refusal of Free Money float; to take the place of the now defunct Celebrate the Rain Tax float. Of course all the floats will be surrounded by the fleet of Brownshirted police motorcycles and cars and SUVs entirely necessary to patrol one square mile of quiet suburbia.

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3Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Sounds like maybe it is time to cut the BS

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4rmzrez(134 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

You guys my think your high class , but you still just lower Ytown South side .

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5YtownSports(244 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

How about allowing at least on-premise beer & wine sales? Several quaint buildings would make great, tax dollar generating little bistros.

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6DontBanThisDrone(547 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

^ lol

(-:

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7taxme(345 comments)posted 2 years, 8 months ago

Lol Ytownsports thinks the deadly substance alcohol is the answer! ROFLMFAO Have a cigar too!

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82muchtax(417 comments)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

Let's not ever mention the unbelieveable retirement benefits after 30 yrs for police fire teachers, let people working till they are 65 or 67 pay for people retiring in their early 50's it's only fair

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9KMG365(1 comment)posted 2 years, 7 months ago

@2muchtax - The firefighters that protect the people and property within Poland Village and Township are all volunteer. They receive NO retirement benefits of any kind.

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