Perry trustees to seek financial advice

PERRY TWP. — Township trustees said Monday that they plan to seek some financial advice from the state auditor’s office before submitting the 2020 tax budget.

Trustee Jim Armeni, who previously worked for the state auditor’s office, said he’s been in talks with Local Government Services, an arm of the state auditor’s office which can serve as a consultant and fiscal advisory group to government agencies and subdivisions. He said LGS would like to come in as a courtesy to the township, with LGS representatives scheduled to come to the township’s next meeting at 6:30 p.m. July 8.

“I think it’s a good idea. It doesn’t cost us anything,” he said.

According to the state auditor’s website at www.ohioauditor.gov, LGS can offer help with several different services depending on the needs of the entity, including annual reports, financial forecast/planning, reconstructions/reconciliations, policies and procedures/internal control processes, merger/dissolution assistance, Web GAAP, Uniform Accounting Network, fiscal distress assistance and training opportunities.

Trustee Don Rudibaugh said he thought it would probably be good, like an extra set of eyes.

Armeni said he already provided LGS with copies of this year’s first quarter figures and last year’s numbers for the year.

Fiscal Officer Susan Johnston reminded trustees that the deadline for submitting the 2020 tax budget to the Columbiana County auditor’s office is July 15 and they would have to informally give her the go-ahead for the numbers, a notice would need to be printed in the newspaper about copies of the document being available for review and then a public hearing would have to be held, all before the trustees vote to approve it.

Armeni said the township could get an extension up to Aug. 1 from the county. Trustees briefly discussed possibly holding the tax budget hearing before a special meeting at the end of July, dependent on what happens with LGS.

After the regular meeting, trustees held a work session to get some idea of expected major expenses from the road, police and fire departments for next year. Road Supervisor Darreck Farrell talked about needs for a new Cub Cadet tractor priced at an estimated $15,000, purchasing a new 3/4-ton pickup with tool boxes for hauling tools to jobs at a cost of an estimated $55,000 (and selling the 1-ton pickup and one other old pickup), and building a hoop barn for $40,000 to $50,000 for gravel storage, which would make room for more salt in the salt building.

As for paving, he mentioned 2 miles of roadways in the Chardon Village area at an estimated cost of $240,000, which could possibly be reduced with money from Ohio Public Works. Trustee Chair Cliff Mix said he would contact county Engineer Bert Dawson about getting on the list for Ohio Public Works money for next year.

Police Chief Mike Emigh said the department was good for cars but will need to order one in 2021. For next year, he said he wants to replace two tasers at $1,000 each, buy two more body cameras at $800 each and possibly get at least one new radar unit at a possible cost of $1,500 to $2,000.