NW officials ready for questions on levy

NEW WATERFORD – After looking over the ballot language a proposed 1-mill levy increase on the May 7 primary election ballot, Councilwoman Doris Ogle asked Tuesday if council should hold an information session for residents.

If passed, the levy will replace an existing 3-mill operating levy at a rate of 4-mills for each one dollar of property valuation, which amounts to 40 cents for each $100 of valuation.

The levy will run for five years, commencing in 2013 and will be due in 2014.

“Are we going to talk about this?” Ogle asked, “I think we should have some interaction …”

She mentioned the loss of Local Government Funds and “what we have on the table … if they look at this cash summary, we have 13 cents as of today.”

She added, “I think the general feeling in the village is much better than a year ago.”

Councilman Gary DeMarchis suggested meeting during the pancake breakfast this Saturday at the Methodist Church and Mayor Shane Patrone said he would attend and there would probably be a couple members of council available from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Patrone said people could to ask questions and characterized the meeting as informal.

Councilman Tom Cresanto said it would give residents a heads-up and be good to “let them know we’re not the only community” needing money.

Patrone said most of the money is used for police protection, street lights and general expenses. He said the village has lost about $35,000 in LGF money over the past few years.

In other business, Fire Chief Greg Van Pelt said said the department received a federal grant of $60,000 that will be used to upgrade equipment like Scott airpacks and another $10,000 grant from the state fire marshal that will be used for turnout gear.

Van Pelt said the new airpacks “are top of the line.” He said the department also added another paramedic.

DeMarchis advised council on a state seminar he and Fiscal Officer Dave Slagle attended on setting water rates and noted they learned a lot about “the business of running a water plant.”

He said having a “good solid plan” was the key and the seminar featured a checkup program for small plants.

Both DeMarchis and Slagle were enthusiastic about what they learned and focused on grants available and actions the village can implement to increase its likelihood of obtaining money.

“There’s money out there,” DeMarchis said, explaining, “you have to pester them … the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

Slagle agreed, adding they learned not to submit grant applications “at the last minute” or to “cry poor-mouth.”

He suggested having an emergency fund of 25-percent of the department income set aside.

DeMarchis said it is possible to achieve that and Slagle said, “You have to be at certain percentages before you qualify (for grants).”

DeMarchis said, “We just need to stay focused.”

Also, in other business, Ogle said she will submit the grant application to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for $12,300 in about two weeks.

The money will be used for the park gazebo and landscaping.

Also, Cresanto said the Easter Egg hunt, which the fire department has been doing “for many years” may have look for outside help after being unable to afford prizes.

He said the price of candy has increased and Van Pelt noted that “all the kids get candy … we still get enough, there’s just no money for prizes.”

Cresanto said $460 was spent on candy and Patrone said council “will be more than interested in helping out.”

Larry Shields can be reached at lshields@salemnews.net