Meeting Minutes (3-8-23)
The Council of the Village of Woodsfield
March 8, 2023
The Council of the Village of Woodsfield met in Special Session on March 8, 2023.
I. Roll Call:
Present: Council Members; Dale English, Tom Kirkland, Leann Harper, Matt Schaber; Mayor Carol Hehr, Fiscal Officer Lori Cunard, and Village Administrator Kevin Brooks.
Absent: Council Members; Anthony McDaniel and Tiffany Ramsay.
Special Meeting was held for a Q&A session regarding the 2023 budget.
Matt Schaber asked why we have a State Highway Fund. Kevin Brooks stated it is because we receive money that can only be used for State Highways such as Permissive Taxes/Gasoline tax.
Leann Harper asked how or why we budget more expenses than we do revenue. Lori Cunard explained that it is because we use a carry-over from the previous year. Leann Harper also asked if Income Tax is the only revenue the general fund receives, which it also receives property tax. Kevin Brooks explained that if we do not have a carry-over then we have not done a very good job of managing the budget throughout the year. He also stated that we have not appropriated all of the dollars available. We have close to $1.5 to $2 million that have not been appropriated.
Leann Harper asked if the revenue for the Park Fund includes the rental of the alternative school and revenue from the pool if any. Mr. Brooks replied that those are included in the Park revenue.
Mr. Brooks also explained that the general fund is monitored daily. He does not like to see the general fund go below $500,000. He feels that RITA has helped tremendously with the general fund. Before we outsourced income tax to RITA, there were 20% of our residents not filing Village income tax and now that number is way lower, not that all of the 20% owes but they were considered non-filers.
Leann Harper asked when something needs done in Park Department, does it come from the general fund or is Park Fund budgeted for it. Kevin Brooks explained that certain things are budgeted for. We also apply for ODNR NatureWorks grants. If we need certain things for the Park we look for grant dollars or we look for other opportunities to purchase things. Leann Harper asked if we should be budgeting more for upkeep or maintenance for the Parks, she feels if residents are paying tax dollars shouldn’t more be going to the community parks. Kevin Brooks explained that there are line-items that are being used for upkeep and maintenance.
Leann Harper asked what the difference is in the Water Funds such as short-lived assets, Water Imp/Emg, and Water Operating. Mr. Brooks said the short-lived assets would be the purchase of an item with a life span of less than 5 years. The Water Imp/Emg is an emergency fund for a disaster. Mr. Brooks said that all of the enterprise funds have an emergency fund. The Water Operating fund is for the daily expenses of the Water Department. Leann Harper also asked what the Fairground Rd Water Improv Fund is for and Mr. Brooks said it was part of the water line extension/sewer line replacement funded by OWDA and USDA. She asked if a line-item is created when loans are made for the payments to come from. Mr. Brooks stated that we do have separate line-items for each Village loan.
Leann Harper asked if the Fire Protection Fund was Levy funds to which Mr. Brooks replied that it is.
Matt Schaber asked where the 2023 requirement figure comes from, and Lori Cunard replied it is the carryover and the 25% left unappropriated.
Mayor Hehr brought up the loss on investments of the Cemetery Brague accounts. The funds are invested in stocks and Nikki Lude, Commonwealth, manages the funds. Kevin Brooks feels that Nikki Lude is very conscientious and has always done a good job at managing these funds for us. He feels that we should leave it alone and ride it out and they will hopefully start to gain again towards the end of 2023. Dale English also feels Nikki Lude is doing an excellent job. Mayor Hehr feels that once we have gained some of our loss, she feels we should invest somewhere else, possibly STAR Ohio, rather than in stocks. Kevin Brooks opinion is we should stay with Nikki Lude because the funds will make more in stocks than investing in STAR Ohio and she is a financial trader. Leann Harper asked what the breaking point is and how much is too much to lose. Mr. Brooks replied that is up to the Finance Committee and Cemetery Committee, but the loss is not an actual loss but a loss on paper.
Leann Harper asked what the budget is for just the Police Department. Lori Cunard stated it is under Fund 1000-110 on the budget. It costs approximately a half million dollars to run the Police
Department. Leann Harper also asked why we have not done a Police levy. Mr. Brooks is not really sure why there has never been a Police levy.
Kevin Brooks asked if everyone is happy with the budget and if everyone had their questions answered. Kevin Brooks asked Lori Cunard what the total dollar amount appropriated, and the total dollar amount available to be appropriated is. Lori Cunard explained that the dollar amount is on the budget Ordinance.
Mayor Hehr asked for more questions and there were none, so she asked for a motion to adjourn. Dale English made the motion. Tom Kirkland second. Special Session adjourned at 6:15 p.m.
Carol Hehr, Mayor Lori Cunard, Fiscal Officer