Out of fiscal oversight, Girard looks to stay within its means
By DANNY RESTIVO
Earlier this month, the city was released from fiscal oversight by the Ohio Auditor’s office.
For 10 years, the city had to run its finances through a fiscal-planning commission before it could implement any of its own decisions.
Now, Girard officials are making sure the city stays within its means.
“Right now, things are going good,” said city Auditor Sam Zirafi, who believes the city will be fine if it stays within its revenue streams.
On Monday night, Zirafi, along with city Treasurer John Moliterno, reviewed the budget and the monthly budget report with city council’s finance committee. The monthly meeting was the first since the city was released from fiscal oversight.
Zirafi, Moliterno and the finance committee went through June collections and appropriations.
The city, which collected more than $280,000 so far this month, is still short of what it brought in this time last year.
“It’s $75,000 less,” said Councilman Frank Migliozzi, D-1st, finance committee chairman. “But we anticipated this when we created our five-year plan.”
Migliozzi and the other committee members went through various line items in the financial report. They compared spending and collections within various city funds.
“We’re going to spend the money we have,” said Zirafi. “If we do this, we’ll be able to maintain services.”
While all agree Girard’s funds are balanced, the auditor, treasurer and the committee are looking at foreseeable problems in the future.
Right now, the concern is property-tax collection which may affect garbage collection, Migliozzi added.
“We collect property taxes through various levies to pay for garbage collection,” he said.
After the finance committee meeting, council convened and passed a motion to refinance a $2.4 million loan for City Hall and justice center improvements, as well as a $1.5 million loan designed to pay for the widening of U.S. Route 422.