Sheriff addresses council regarding police protection

By Kayla Hawthorne - Special to the Sentinel

POMEROY — The Pomeroy Village Council discussed income taxes and heard from Sheriff Keith Wood during their meeting on Monday evening.

Sheriff Wood wanted to ensure village employees and residents that the sheriff’s office still has a responsibility to oversee Pomeroy because it is located in the county. However, the concerns that Wood has is with festivals in the village and routine patrol. Wood said if a call comes in, his deputies will respond just as they do in other parts of the county, but they cannot patrol the streets. Sheriff’s deputies are also not able to write tickets for Pomeroy ordinances, only for Ohio Revised Codes.

Wood asked council if it was necessary for the village to pay for a dispatcher while the department is open. He said the dispatcher in the sheriff’s office could handle the calls and send them to Pomeroy officers as they do for other villages. Council said this would be something to think about and discuss later.

“We have to stick together through problems,” Sheriff Wood said. He also said the sheriff’s office will “run thin sometimes too,” but they now have four school resource officers that will be taking shifts on the roads for the summer.

As of July 1, the Village of Pomeroy will start working with Ohio’s Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA). RITA will help to collect income tax from village residents. Fiscal officer Sue Baker said RITA estimates show there should be around 975 customers to pay income tax to the village, however, there are less than 200 who actively file for Pomeroy. Council voted to approve the resolution to adopt RITA rules and regulations.

Baker also presented amendments to two ordinances regarding income tax collection. These amendments were recommendations from RITA. The amendments include a time frame for fines for unpaid taxes and options for residents who pay taxes to another municipality. Council decided to wait until the village’s lawyer could look at the ordinances before they vote. The first reading was held at Monday’s meeting. An emergency vote could not be held because only four council members were present. Victor Young and Brian Young were not in attendance.

The Village of Pomeroy is in the process of being audited by the state. Baker said they forgot to submit the withholdings to the state during 2013. Withholdings were withheld from employees, but not paid to the state. The village will have to pay the state now and will also be fined. Baker said this will be an expense they were not expecting. She also said they may be able to ask for an abatement from the fees and fines.

Council heard from Charlie Fitchpatrick, an employee with the village’s public works department, about his sick leave time. Fitchpatrick is retiring on Friday, June 7. He says he was grandfathered in to receive payment for 50 percent of his sick leave time. Baker said she cannot find in past meeting minutes that Fitchpatrick was included in that discussion. Baker explained that if they cannot find in the minutes that he is to receive this payment, the village cannot pay him because it will not be authorized by the state and auditor. Council said the fiscal officer and assistant fiscal officer will continue to look through the minutes from previous years.

In other business, council discussed a proposal from Auto Plus for the lease of their space connected to the village offices. The current lease expires in September of this year. Auto Plus requested they sign a three-year lease instead of five years because business has declined in recent years. The business also requested that the current rent of $2,600 not be increased. Council tabled the discussion and said they would pick it up at a later time when more members were present.

The next meeting of Pomeroy Village Council is scheduled for Monday, June 17 at 7 p.m.

By Kayla Hawthorne

Special to the Sentinel

Kayla Hawthorne is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.

Kayla Hawthorne is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.