MIDDLEPORT — A budget for 2015 showing expected revenue and expenditures was passed by Middleport Village Council at Monday night’s meeting and will be filed this week with the Meigs County Auditor.
Prior to passing the budget, Councilman Douglas Dixon asked questions concerning the 51 percent of general fund monies where expenditure figures were not listed, and the payroll figures for the village where figures are listed on the budget sheets. Baker explained the process of putting the budget together using estimates in calculating the figures.
Meeting with Council were Bill Spaun and John Hood, Salisbury Township Trustees, to discuss the amount Salisbury Township pays the Middleport Fire Department for fire protection. For many years the township has contracted with Middleport and Pomeroy for protection. Jeff Darst, Middleport fire chief, was at the meeting and again talked about the long-term contract with Salisbury and the $1,100 the township has paid Middleport for fire protection. The trustees, which noted that Salisbury Township does not have a fire levy, said they could increase the amount to $1,400 next year. No decision on renewing a contract was made pending further discussion with the fire department. The trustees did mention that home insurance coverage sometimes includes a $500 payment for service from a fire department applying for it.
The employment of Fred Hoffman as the village’s economic development director was again an issue at Monday night’s meeting.
Councilman Roger Manley made a motion to “put Fred Hoffman on the payroll.” No second came to the motion after Susan Baker, financial officer, said “there is no money in the general fund to pay Hoffman.” Mayor Michael Gerlach supported that opinion and the issue remains unresolved pending an opinion from legal counsel on the process of hiring employees. The solicitor will be asked to clarify some issues regarding the authority of council and the mayor in hiring employees.
Mony Wood, who is in charge of the jail operation, gave a report on personnel and shift changes showing no increase in cost. Faymon Roberts talked about leaks in water and sewer lines, the emphasis on locating the leaks and making the repairs. Council gave permission to Wayne’s Place for closing a block on Race Street for a street party, but denied a request for having alcohol outside.
Wood reported on a dog incident that occurred and the apparent lack of a satisfactory resolution for Lawrence Manley, who spoke about it at Council. Wood said that everything the law allows was done by Middleport police and that the dog warden was involved. The incident is in regard to two pit bull dogs on a leash being walked in a neighborhood following an alleged incident with a pedestrian.