City Income Tax Increases


By Jane Ernsberger
Times-Junction News Editor

Income tax collections for the month of August totaled $504,000, Sue Johnson, the city’s finance director, told members of council. The four-month total for this year is $1,367,000.

“Last year we had collected less in April,” she noted. “But, our four-month total was about $112,000 higher. Since we budgeted slightly less in income tax revenues in 2018, we have actually collected over 40-percent of our budget. Our overall revenues are at 32.25-percent of the budget, which is only slightly lower than the 33-percent we would expect at this time of the year.

“For the overall budget, we have expended 23-percent of our total appropriations so far this year,” Johnson told council. “For the month of April, our receipts were higher than our expenses by $124,276.”

Johnson told council she has finished the Estimated Tax Budget.

“This was a good exercise for us to see where we need to make adjustments before the end of the year,” she pointed out. “I have created a new summary sheet for the budget that shows what we expect our beginning cash reserves to be, along with estimated revenues and expenses, resulting in an estimated balance at the end of the year.”

Johnson noted in years past, the summary sheet included the reserve for the beginning of the year as a carryover amount within the revenues. This, she added, made the “budget revenues” look higher than the actual budget.

In his report, Willard City Manager Jim Ludban told council the Spring Street waterline replacement is done.

“This was a large project for our forces to tackle,” he pointed out. “From the planning and engineering to the logistics and construction, we are elated with the results. We learned lessons that will serve us well in future projects. We will patch and maintain the surface until the resurfacing project later in the summer.

“We have been aware that there was a new waterline installed on East Spring Street years ago that supported the Quail Creek development,” Ludban added. “The residences between Third Street and State Route 99 were never connected the the new eight-inch service. We are in the process of connecting them now.”

Ludban said more than 60 property maintenance issues have been addressed. The city has already mowed 33 properties and issued 20 building/zoning permits.

James Pomerich, the project planner, has submitted the follow-up grant application for the proposed US 224 sidewalk project, according to Ludban. A decision is expected this summer.

“The stainless steel baffles at the wasterwater plant are installed on the second VLR (Vertical Loop Reactor),” he said. “We are bringing it back online. the fabrication of the third set of baffles is about completed. We expect installation by early July.”

The wastewater treatment plant produced approximately 37 millions of gallons of water last month. Workers are finalizing plans to modernize the laboratory and are continuing to analyze the capital requirements of the water plant and reservoir.

The city, Ludban noted, used more than 1.1 million gallons of water to flush 481 hydrants last month. That works out to more than 2,300 gallons of water per hydrant.

“It removes sediment deposits and rust, increases chlorination and disinfection distribution and ultimately improves water quality,” he explained. “Eight employees spend three days flushing our hydrants.”

The swimming pool is filled. Ludban said the city will accommodate the school district’s request to hold a cardboard box raft contest.

While workers were getting ready for the opening, Ludban said they found a large flange that had deteriorated. Kevin Polachek, a city worker, replaced the flange, saving the city about $1,000.

Ludban told council the city is gearing up for summer.

“The ballfields are in full use,” he pointed out. “The soccer fields and program have begun. We are hiring the summer staff and, of course, mowing continues.”

During the recent citywide clean up, residents brought more than 38 tons to dumpsters downtown at a cost of nearly $4,800, Ludban said. The city was able to sell more than $100 worth of scrap metal that was culled from the trash.

City council gave final reading to the following:

- An ordinance authorizing the city manager to enter into contract with Precision Paving, Inc. for the 2018 Street Improvements Projects with a cost of $308,229;

- An ordinance authorizing the city manager to enter into contract with Precision Paving, Inc. for the Spring Street Improvements Project with a cost of $269,617, and

- Adopted an ordinance as an emergency that fixes the wages of recreation department employees.

Council adopted an ordinance as an emergency on first reading fixing the wages of certain city officials, fire department personnel and other city employees.

A resolution was passed authorizing the city manager to advertise for a water treatment clarifier rebuild project.

Willard Police Chief Shannon Chaffing has graduated from the Police Executive Leadership course.

“Your investment in his training is important to the future of the community,” Ludban said. “Witnessing his effort during the several months of classes was refreshing.”

The city had been seeing an increase in in vehicle and garage break-ins. Ludban said a subsequent arrest has been made.

“Officer Slone’s Senior Watch Program is expanding,” he told council. “We are pleased at his effort.”

Firefighters Eric Linstrum and Jacob Hacker, passed the national Registry Examination, which is a prerequisite to becoming a paramedic.

Council accepted a $4,295.70 donation from the Willard Moose #2153. Ludban said it will benefit the disc golf project, purchase the video equipment to support family movie nights and the balance will go to benefit the Parks & Recreation Department.

Council accepted the following donations for the Clock Tower Project:

- $100 from Oliver and July Mahl;

- $100 from Todd Shininger in memory of Herschel Borchelt, and

- $500 from the Willard Business Association from book sales.

Street lighting is expected to be installed along Neal Zick Road by Thanksgiving. Ludban said Pomerich is working on a project that will bring power for the project by late summer. Pomerich has found the LED lights.

Don Eckstein is assisting with the project, which is expected to be done in-house. Ludban said those efforts should result in a $10,000 savings as opposed to outsourcing the work.

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