Perry trustees look at paving projects

PERRY TWP. — What to pave and what not to pave — that’s the question Perry Township trustees plan to discuss more at their next meeting once Road Supervisor Darreck Farrell has prices from the Columbiana County engineer’s office on the cost per mile.

Trustee Jim Armeni brought up the discussion of paving Monday night. He said since the township didn’t do any paving last year, he had talked with Farrell and would like to see at least 3 miles paved. Trustee Chair Cliff Mix commented that he thought Armeni said before that they weren’t going to do any paving this year.

According to Armeni, he’s been thinking about it, but noted that anything they do, it will all be on the township. It’s too late to get any funding from state Issue II for this year and for next year they’ll have to apply this summer. Farrell said that Cliff Drive and Allen Drive need paved badly. He didn’t do chip and seal on them last year because he thought they were going to get paved.

If the township paved Cliff and Allen and possibly Countryside, that would come to 1.1 miles of road, which Fiscal Officer Susan Johnston indicated could be done with the money available. She questioned the idea of doing 3 miles, though, asking if Armeni was talking about doing anything else major out of that budget. He mentioned maybe purchasing a truck.

“I would think that 3 miles of road is going to be tough,” she said, adding, “I don’t know if I’d go that far if you’re going to get a truck too.”

She said there was an estimated $380,000 or more in the budget for roads. Trustee Don Rudibaugh said they’ll know more once Farrell gets the prices.

Police Chief Mike Emigh asked about the parking lot at the police station/administration building/north station on North Ellsworth Avenue. He said some spots are crumbling and it hasn’t been done for awhile. Armeni said he would rather pave part of a road than the township parking lot. Johnston said work on the parking lot is usually taken out of the general fund, not the road and bridge fund. Farrell said they’ll be patching the parking lot.

Armeni also asked about the culvert deposit fund and whether some of that money could be moved. Johnston said she’s still waiting on an answer from their legal counsel on that, noting if they could, it would have to go to the general fund. She explained that some of that money sitting there came from a development. The developer got reimbursed by the homeowners, who probably didn’t know about the deposits and she would have no way of knowing who that money belongs to since it happened before she was clerk.

Johnston will have a quarterly report for the trustees next month on finances. Armeni asked if she had considered any changes the township needs to make based on the recommendations in the last state audit. He said the recommendations didn’t look too serious but asked if there was something they needed to do before the next audit, saying he was concerned about having to reconcile them for the next audit.

She explained that she already changed the way the appropriations are done, instead of just showing by fund, she went back and changed them to show the breakdown.

“I just don’t want us to dismiss all of those,” he said, pointing to the suggestion about separation of duties.

Johnston said that’s on every audit and questioned “how are we gonna do that?” considering she’s one person.

“I don’t think you can afford an assistant,” she said. “Any small entity gets that — that’s on every single audit.”

Armeni said he wanted to at least show that they made an attempt regarding some of the suggestions, to which Johnston asked if he wanted to come in and do the reconciliation every month. He said that’s up to the fiscal officer. Mix commented that’s what she was trying to say.

Most of the smaller townships in the area have just one fiscal officer who takes care of the financial matters. It’s also an elected position, same as the trustees.

In other business, the trustees appointed Dwaine Craig of Mineral Ridge as a probationary part-time officer. Craig also works part-time for Coitsville and previously worked for the Mill Creek Park Police. Craig was accompanied to the meeting by his family.

The next trustee meeting is March 25.