Mt. Sterling council talks events and finances

(Posted Jan. 25, 2017)

By Amanda Ensinger, Staff Writer

On Jan. 23, Mount Sterling village council named Mary Lou Stiverson-Ratliff as council president, talked about community events slated for 2017, and reviewed finances.

“We have been working very hard to host events that will benefit the entire village,” said Mayor Lowell Anderson, noting that efforts are under way to repeat and add to events that were held in 2016.

Anderson also informed the public that there are still no plans for a new grocery store to come to the region, to the dismay of village residents.

However, Anderson did have some good news. The village collected almost $100,000 more in taxes in 2016 than in 2015. In 2015, the village collected $581,000 and in 2016 they collected $685,000.

“Even though we have collected more money, we are going to continue to watch our spending,” Anderson said. “We don’t want to overspend and jeopardize any of the programs we currently offer.”

The village continues to work with the state auditor’s office to collect the approxi-mate $1 million stolen from the village by former village administrator Joe Johnson. However, village leaders have no new up-dates and said the investigation is ongoing.

“They have given our fiscal officer and the mayor the run around,” Stiverson-Ratliff said. “They were supposed to send help and that was a year ago. No one has showed up to help.”

Village administrator John Martin reported that the village received an engineering quote for the Clevenger Road repair project and plans to let the project out for bids in the new few months.

“Work on the items at Mason Park continues, (however) weather has slowed the progress a bit,” Martin said. “The walking path and playground equipment will be installed in the spring after the water plant items are complete and the turf is replaced.”

Martin also highlighted the success of the meter replacement program, providing council with a chart highlighting the increase in billable water versus non-billable water.

“While we are always going to have some water that is not going to be able to be billed, we are seeing this gap close,” he said. “This is resulting in more revenue for the village which is wonderful.”

In other action, council signed off on paying the Madison County Sheriff’s Office $63,000 per quarter to provide the village with law enforcement services.

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