The village of Lithopolis geared up for 2009 by getting its administrative team firmly in place.
At Lithopolis Village Council’s Dec. 16 meeting, council approved the appointment of Ed Van Vickle as village administrator and Jacinta Seagraves as fiscal officer.
Van Vickle has worked for the village since 2006 and has served as acting village administrator since July 2007. Seagraves joined the Lithopolis government in 2007 as an administrative assistant and became acting fiscal officer in July 2008 after the previous fiscal officer resigned under allegations of wrong doing.
Van Vickle will be paid $21 per hour and Seagraves will earn $13.03 per hour.
"Ed (Van Vickle) has had the best interests of the village in mind since he’s been here," said Councilman Ted Simon.
Simon added that Seagraves has "done a good job."
Annexation of Long property
Village officials are reviewing a pre-annexation agreement involving the 92.68 acre Long property located north of Elder Road between Winchester Southern Road and Oregon Road.
Mayor Eric Sandine explained the annexation is important to the village because it would enable Lithopolis to work towards getting a wellhead protection plan in place.
Lithopolis’ water treatment facility and the property around it are not in the village, which makes it difficult for the village to take steps to protect its water supply.
"A wellhead protection plan doesn’t stop development," said Sandine. "But it gives us authority to require test wells to head off any potential contamination of our well field. It helps ensure nothing adverse happens to our water supply."
As part of the pre-annexation agreement, the village would agree to abate and waive the village’s one percent income tax for the current owners of the property and their immediate family.
"It’s a small price to pay for control of our wellhead protection area," said Sandine.
Council will consider the issue further at future meetings.
Council approved the village’s $1.3 million appropriations budget for 2009.
The 2009 appropriations reflect an anticipated decrease in the village’s income tax revenue as Sandine said in November that income tax revenues are down. He said that the village’s income tax revenue for the first quarter of this year was up 15 percent over 2007, but in second quarter was down 7.7 percent, the third quarter was down 11 percent, and the fourth quarter is projected to be down 20 percent.
Sandine speculated that the nation’s rough economy is the most likely reason for the downturn in income tax revenue.
The 2009 budget shows a reduction in the streets budget as well as the parks budget.