Rutland village to seek operating levy

By Sarah Hawley -

RUTLAND — Rutland Village Council is asking voters to consider a 2.0 mill operating expenses levy as the village continues to recover from past financial problems.

Fiscal officer Kim Wilford and councilwoman Kim Dodd provided council with an update to the village financial picture, including a 2019 budget.

The village has struggled with financial problems for the past several years, before the current mayor, council and fiscal officer came on board.

Since January, Wilford and Dodd, who held the opposite positions until last month, have worked to reconcile bank statements and UAN (the state accounting software) records, as well as Mayor’s Court payments for which documentation was not current.

Now that the financial picture is taking shape, the village must look for ways to correct a deficit in the general fund. The levy is one of the steps.

The 2.0 mill operating expenses levy would generate $7,829.36, for the village operating expenses, including the street lights in the village.

Council approved the resolution for the placement of the levy on the November ballot with the paperwork to be sent to the county auditor and Board of Elections.

In other business, Mayor Mike Biggs updated council on the pot hole repairs on village streets. He stated that $142.85 was spent on material, with himself and township trustee Steve Lambert completing patching work which did not require additional equipment to be brought in.

Biggs stated the findings for the recovery amount to be paid to the village by former-Mayor April Burke, per agreement with the state auditor, has not been received by the village as of Monday’s meeting. The money is supposed to be paid back by the end of July.

Wilford stated she is currently working on mailing letters to individuals who owe money through Mayor’s Court for previous tickets.

Council approved the placement of the Higley Historical Marker in front of the Rutland Civic Center. The marker, which was located on the lot to be occupied by Dollar General, was removed to allow for the log cabin to be removed from the property.

Donna Jenkins and Tyler Eblin, representing Friends of Rutland, updated council on the upcoming Back to School Bash to take place in Fireman’s Park at 5 p.m. on Aug. 20. The event will include refreshments and school supply giveaway. Anyone interested in donating school supplies to be given away at the event may drop items off at the village office on Wednesdays until Aug. 15.

Ground work is currently taking place on the site of the future Dollar General Store next to the Civic Center.

Council remains at five members as no letters of interest were submitted for the vacant council seat and no one was nominated for the position. As 30 days have now passed since the vacancy, Biggs will now be tasked with appointing a person to the vacant seat.

Council voted to move back to one meeting a month now that the budget is settled, with the meetings to be held at 6 p.m. on the first Monday of each month unless otherwise announced.

By Sarah Hawley

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.

Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.