(Posted April 27, 2023)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Mount Sterling’s fiscal officer said the village’s finances are on track following the end of the first quarter of 2023, but she cautioned village council members to remain vigilant about the budget moving forward.
At the April 24 council meeting, fiscal officer Courtney Bricker reported that spending is at 19 percent, a good thing because it’s below the first quarter 25-percent mark. Revenues are at 35 percent, also good because they are above the 25-percent first quarter mark.
Bricker reminded council members that some of the first quarter revenues were one-time revenues that won’t be there in subsequent quarters.
“As we get towards the middle of the year, that’s when we’ll start reevaluating on what’s needed, what the budget’s going to look like, and how the spending is going. As far as right now, I’m pretty satisfied with what the budget is looking like,” she said.
Bricker said the finance committee will continue to monitor the budget to make sure the village stays on point.
Council member Andy Drake, chair of the finance committee, said the village continues to work on a backlog of maintenance issues this year, one of which could be repair of leaky water valves.
“That’s why it’s so important to listen to Courtney’s message around how we’re spending money here in the first part of the year and making sure we’re tracking so if we do have unplanned expenditures, like valves and things like that, we’re thinking about how that ultimately plays out,” Drake said.
The village reached stable ground fiscally last year following six years of state fiscal oversight due to theft and fraud committed by former village officials. The state released the village from fiscal oversight in October.
• Potholes. Tom Byrne, village administrator, said the village’s new DuraPatcher machine is already paying for itself. Village crews are using the machine to fill potholes.
“Thirty-six potholes were filled last Wednesday (April 19). We’re almost all done on the north side of the tracks. A total of 42 have been filled,” he said.
• Water meters. The village has just 20 new water meters left to install in residences around town.
“We’re having issues getting into some houses. We have a plan to take care of that,” said council member Becky Martin, chair of the water/wastewater committee.
Martin encouraged anyone who has yet to have a new water meter installed to contact utilities clerk Misty Vance at (740) 869-2040, ext. 111, or email@example.com.
• Parking violation. Martin also chairs the street committee. She reported that she has seen vehicles parked with one wheel up on the curb on Columbus and Main streets. She said such parking is illegal and can damage curbs over time. Violators can be ticketed.
• Fence at park. The parks and recreation committee originally planned to have the fence at Mason Park repaired, however, the contractor discovered problems that require replacement rather than repair of the fence. The concrete has heaved up in several places and the vinyl fencing has become brittle.
The parks and recreation committee relies on private donations because it does not receive funding from village coffers. The committee had saved up $10,000 for the fence repair. The quote to replace the fence requires another $12,300.
Martin, who chairs the committee, proposed that council consider taking money from the village’s general fund to cover the $12,300. Legislation calling for authorization of this expenditure will be brought before council for an emergency vote on May 8.