City Council Approves 2015 Appropriations

By Jane Ernsberger
Times-Junction News Editor

Members of Willard City Council approved the budget for the coming year. According to the city charter, an ordinance for passage of appropriations only takes one reading by council.

The income tax revenues for November exceeded expectations for 2014 in total, according to Sue Johnson, finance director for the City of Willard. With one more month in this year, she told council members this will put the city over what was budgeted in those revenues for 2014.

"Unfortunately, we had higher revenues coming in," she pointed out. "That means we have made more transfers out, so we've maxxed out on those transfers as well. We do help out many funds with our tax transfers so those transfers had to stop for the rest of the year. In January, I can start transferring that money all over again."

When it comes to the deficit spending, Johnson said the city coffers looked better at the end of November than they did at the end of October.

"Our deficit spending saw a decrease of $95,000," she told members of city council. "That's good. We are heading in the right direction."

Those numbers in deficit are not going to go away soon, Johnson pointed out.

"They're not going to go away until our revenues come in higher than our expenses," she said. "By deficit spending, we are spending last year's money. Any carryovers that we are using is what's creating the deficit spending."

Interim Willard City Manager Shawn Tappel told council the waterline project on US 224 is underway at this time. The main goal of the project right now, he noted, is to be able to service Family Dollar, which will be done soon.

"At this time, Family Dollar would be able to be serviced if they needed it," Tappel said. "If the weather stays good, we will get it done pretty quickly."

Tappel explained the bore under US 224 will be done within the next few weeks.

Willard City Engineer Stan Carlyle said the date for completion on the proposal is Jan. 9. "It has to be completed by the ninth," he told council members. "The contractor is going to give me a call. He thinks he can get it done prior to that."

The City of Willard is looking at the possibility of putting street lights on Neal Zick Road. Tappel said he has talked with AEP but has not received the information council has asked him for concerning the street lights.

Tappel said he has also gotten some promising rates for the city's utilities. He is looking at gas rates that could extend through 2019. The city law director will look at the contract to make sure the city would not be locked into anything beyond 2019.

Willard City Council accepted a donation in the amount of $850.34 for the DARE program. The donation was placed in the drug abuse fund.

Tappel said the city received a check for $100 from Barbara and Milton Bernier. The donation is earmarked for the clock tower project.

Testing has been completed for the police officer and dispatcher positions, according to Tappel. "We're looking forward to moving ahead with that as soon as we get the results."

The City of Willard will start accepting applications in the very near future for the position of meter reader and a maintenance position, Tappel noted. Testing for these positions should be completed by mid-January.

Council passed the following ordinances:

• An ordinance fixing the wages of certain city department heads as an emergency;

• An ordinance fixing the wages of certain city officials, fire department personnel and other city employees as an emergency;

• An ordinance to set the annual appropriations for the City of Willard during the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2015 on first reading, and

• A resolution authorizing the city manager to advertise for bids for the purchase of materials, supplies, insurance and equipment and services for calendar year 2015.

Editor's note: The 2015 appropriations for the City of Willard will be detailed in the Dec. 22 edition of the Times-Junction.

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