By Jane Ernsberger
Times-Junction News Editor
Income tax collections for the first half of the year are $1,852,000, according to finance director Sue Johnson. She told members of city council this is about 55-percent of what the city had budgeted for the year.
Overall revenues for the entire budget, she noted, are $6,896,000, which is 45.5-percent of what was budgeted that the city would receive. Johnson said total expenses, so far this year, are $7,427,000 or 39-percent of the budget.
“I see no concerns currently with salaries and wages,” Johnson pointed out. “All departments are near or below the 50-percent mark for the year.
“Our interest income is falling a little short of where we were expecting it,” she added. “We have collected $69,460, which is about 44-percent of our budgeted revenue for interest.”
Resurfacing work has begun on some city streets by Precision Paving. Willard City Manager Jim Ludban said most of the grinding should be done by next week, and the paving will follow.
“Unfortunately, most of the concrete work will occur on Spring Street,” Ludban pointed out. “The plan is that the concrete work, grinding and paying on Spring Street will probably start the last week of July.”
The Perry Street sewer, curb and sidewalk project is almost finished, according to Ludban. A number of city workers helped with the work, which was done in-house. He specifically cited Rob Cavello, Russell Bivens and Kody Collins.
“More than 38 million gallons of water were treated/produced in June,” Ludban told members of council. “We have received the formal findings of the Ohio EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) visit of the WTP (Water Treatment Plant). It contained several deficiencies that we will be addressing, primarily in administrative areas, such as formalizing a valve exercise program, developing a written contingency plan to notify users if our treatment or delivery of water is interrupted and how we will provide alternate sources of water, refining the mesh screens in our clearwells, changing our backflow and site monitoring practices to comply with new rules.”
Ludban said the EPA also made recommendations that are being considered as part of the Water Treatment Plant improvement project.
“We took a different tact this year,” Ludban explained concerning the Willard Reservoir and algae. “We treated before the water got to where we normally treat in the 70-degree range. It seems to have worked very well.
“The microsystems are low,” he noted. “(We) continually test that. There’s no evidence of algae that needs to be treated at this time. The reservoir is at 74- or 75-degrees. We’re pleased with that.”
The Ohio EPA also conducted a site visit to the lagoon part of the wastewater, according to Ludban.
“It hadn’t visited in a long time,” he said. “We got their findings today. We’re still analyzing those. There were no violations. There were some recommendations that had to do with the lagoon itself. They were recommendations about a way forward with some things they would like to see us do.”
All of the fire hydrants inside the city limits have been painted. The hydrants outside the city limits will eventually be painted, Ludban pointed out. His young crews will be painting curbs yellow after the street work.
“If we have enough time, we will go ahead and do the rest of the hydrants,” he said. “If not, we will get at those in the next phase.”
Ludban said the question has come up concerning the color of a fire hydrant. Some are all yellow and some have green.
“The ones with green on top just designate that it’s a different size waterline,” he explained. “That tells the firemen as they approach what they can expect. If it’s a green one, it might need to look at one of the other hydrants if they need to increase the water pressure or water release.”
Free swimming lessons at the pool has resulted in 81 children learning how to swim. Ludban said these sessions are held in both the morning and evening. For those who successfully complete the course, the city will present them with a certificate and one day free swim.
The recent Festival in the Park has been deemed a success.
“The mostly favorable weather attracted lots of people to the variety of events,” Ludban pointed out. “Local bands seem to have their own followings. The magic shows were well received. The big time wrestling matches generated crowd participation.
“The vintage baseball game was a hit,” he added. “We have heard many appreciative comments about the fireworks display. The midway was busy. Our share of the ride concessions is expected to be the highest in 10 years.”
Council adopted a resolution to put the police levy on the November ballot. The 1/8-percent is a renewal and pays for the continued employment of additional personnel hired by the police department when first adopted on May 8, 2007. Those positions include a detective, juvenile officer and school resource officer.
Also adopted was an ordinance on final reading to allow the city manager to enter into contract with Rebuild-It Services Group, LLC, Midvale, Utah for the $60,000 Wastewater Clarifier Rebuild Project. Acceptance of the comprehensive plan was passed on final reading.
The city will administer the test for police officer on Aug. 8. There is a vacancy with the recent resignation of one officer.
Council granted Ludban the authority to offer a potential new hire four years of service time for vacation purposes only, The candidate has extensive experience and licensure in both water and wastewater disciplines.
The following donations were accepted by council:
- $500 from Joe Daniel to benefit the parks & recreation, and
- $3,239.06 from Willard Moose #2153 to benefit the police taser project.
The following donations were accepted by council to benefit the Clock Tower Project:
- $110 cash donation from the Willard Area Historical Society;
- $100 check from Wade and Nancy Eden in memory of Sylvia Culler;
- $100 check from Willard Research Club, and
- $200 check from the Brother of Locomotive Engineers #526 of Willard.