JACKSON CENTER — 2019 is just around the corner, and Jackson Center Council insured the village will be ready to cover a myriad of expenses related to the normal operations of the village plus the other new projects that will be addressed in the coming year.
Council passed Ordinance 2018-036 to make appropriations for current expenses as well as other expenditures for the village through the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2019.
“Next year will be another busy one,” said Village Administrator, Bruce Metz, “and though I think all the bases are covered thus far, I can’t guarantee there won’t be a few changes in the budget down the road. We have final plans and tentative costs figured for all the village responsibilities associated with the Airstream expansion and construction of the new electrical substation coupled with the day-to-day concerns related to normal operations for the village, so things are in order at this point.”
Mayor Scott Klopfenstein thanked Metz, Village Fiscal Officer Bev Wren and the rest of the village staff for a job well done.
“A lot of time and labor goes into this budget every year. We know you folks work really hard, and we appreciate your efforts. Thank you,” he said.
After invocation, the Pledge of Allegiance and roll call, council heard and approved the financial report given by Councilman Larry Wahrer, who shared recent expenditures and revenue and how things looked compared to a year ago this same time.
“We had some growth in costs but a more significant increase in income tax, which is a good sign of a healthy and growing community. We’ve had another good month and a really great year overall,” said Wahrer.
Klopfenstein noted that an ordinance related to zoning changes for an upcoming apartment construction process would remain tabled until further notice due to a hold-up concerning due process in the purchase of a lot involved in the project.
Council passed an ordinance amending the placement of the Ohio income tax revenue which will all be moved to the general fund per state guidelines to make the annual state audit go smoothly.
“The changes were deemed necessary by the state of Ohio to clarify exactly where and how all the funding is used,” Metz said.
Council gave second reading to an ordinance adopting rates, terms and conditions for the village electric service and another ordinance establishing new water and sewage rates for the village. Metz provided an overview of the necessary changes and the mayor opened the floor to any and all questions concerning the proposed changes and whether any edits in the upcoming report from the administrator were needed for clarification.
In his report, Metz thanked all those who voted to pass a 2 mill levy in the November election, noting it will generate $46,000 annually and be used to help fund the Police, Fire, and Street departments and for snow removal.
Concerning the water, sewage and electrical issues, Metz first shared information about a cost of service study (COS) done in 2017 to determine the financial position of the electrical department.
“It was determined we are in pretty good shape, but with the need for the additional substation, the council would need to do a rate increase,” said Metz. “There will be an increase of 74 cents per kilowatt hour per month plus a $2 customer charge increase for a total increase of $2.74 per month.”
A more recent DOS study completed for the water and sewage departments indicated a need to increase rates there as well.
“A customer using the 5,000-gallon minimum will see an increase of $5.85 per month, but there will be no increase in the customer charge for water or sewage.” Metz said, noting anyone having questions may call the village office at 937-596-6314 for more information.
Before adjournment, Metz provided updates on a variety of typical seasonal projects and noted normal operations are on track and things are going well overall.
“We’re closing in on the end of another exciting and productive year and are already looking forward to what 2019 will bring. I would like to thank the mayor and all the council members and village employees for your help and support in all our undertakings. It’s been another great year for Jackson Center. Thank you!” Metz said.
Before leaving, Metz also thanked everyone for their help with the annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner.
“We served 460 meals that day. The event was well attended, and everyone had a great time. We ran out of some of the food at the end of the meal, but I guess that’s a good thing and an indication things went well … Thank you!”
The last regularly scheduled 2018 council meeting for the village will be in the council chambers, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.