Trade Wars

EMS funds are running out, another general fund transfer looms at Manchester Council meeting

MANCHESTER, Ohio – An increase in water rates, along with the EMS Quick-Dry Fund, was discussed at the Manchester Village Council meeting on Jan. 18.

The meeting began with the approval of the minutes, followed by a vote of no confidence from Councilor Troy Jolly against Councilor Regina Adams. Jolly claimed Adams leaked an executive session that took place just before he stepped down in the summer of 2021. The motion died for lack of a second.

IBI’s Steve Mack updated the board on the three projects underway. Phase four of the sanitary sewer is expected to be completed by March 5.

“Secondly, I want to update you on the Cemetary Street storm sewer project. At the last meeting I attended, we talked about raising the money to put in a six-inch water pipe. The council passed a motion to change the change order which was funded primarily by county money. They are about to. We are making good progress on this. Speaking with the contractor today, he believes they can still get this job done on schedule,” Mack said.

For the first phase of the watermain improvements, the final design has been completed. The engineering firm would like to announce bids in February, with the project being awarded in May.

“The current proposal is $2.5m right now. You see Manchester paying $492,000. They have a 30-year loan on that. With 800 customers a month, you’re going to have to pay $1.71/month for 30 years,” Mack said. That $492,000 will be split between the Village and the Ohio EPA.

“The rate would take into account the increase in that debt by $200,000, plus, as Steve said, [maintenance]. the [water department] can tell you they have broken trucks, water filters to replace, well repairs to do, water town to paint. There are many projects. These are costs that will increase. I think the sewer still has to work on its reserve to get additional funds. It can be part of the increase,” said tax officer Kayla Bowman.

Bowman reported that in addition to her regular duties, she worked on grants.

Street Commissioner Earl “Buster” Ruark reported $4,500 worth of stolen decor during the Christmas season. Ruark had additional complaints, two of which involved a lack of police reports advancing certain incidents that would favor the village.

Jolly reported several electrical service thefts in the village.

Councilor Christine Henderson has been appointed Chair of Council. Ruark was appointed Street Commissioner. Debbie Clinger was appointed as a member of the Public Affairs Council.

On the agenda was the village’s litigation against the Adams County commissioners for EMS services. Adams has expressed a desire to withdraw from the trial. Attorney Tony Adams advised against doing so.

“I spoke to Mr. [Tom] Mayes on this, and it was recommended to stop this. I’m just doing what we were advised to do,” Adams said.

The next item on the agenda was the existence of the EMS. Mayor BJ Goodwin said the item was put on the agenda due to concerns over funding and rental fees for the building.

“There is money in [EMS fund]. I know the last meeting, the crowd, different – ​​The Defender of the People. I have just returned from vacation and I am greeted by “the dominating topic of the tax emergency at the Manchester Council meeting”. Just because one or two people say it doesn’t mean it’s true. We don’t head into a financial emergency just because of an outcry from one or two people in the crowd, or because someone gets up and makes a report. Don’t make it exact. There is money in the EMS account, right? Joly said.

To date, there is $17,221 in the account, Bowman said.

“There is a payroll for volunteers and our employees. This is going to come out to around $7,700. So you’re going to have about $9,000 once we’ve done the payroll. On the agenda tonight, we are paying those other bills. It’s almost $3,000. Once these bills are paid, you will have approximately $6,521 in the fund. The fund usually works on the contract that was interrupted. Without this contract, I think you will have to make another transfer. We don’t need to have another pay until February 3rd. I don’t know what funds will be coming into the account by then, but for now, once you pay all that off, you’ll only have $6,000 left. “Bowman said.

Councilman Shawn Francis reminded the board that Medicaid was on hold. Payments would not be seen for 60 days versus the usual 30.

“- and not always. They’re supposed to pay for that. You can expect that, but you don’t always get it,” Adams said.

In the current state of the account, you can make payroll this week and then you have $6,000 left, Bowman said.

“You have two weeks to accumulate money for payroll, insurance, payroll deductions and operating supplies. I don’t know what billing will come in or not. HHS funds, there’s about $17,000 there,” Bowman said.

With the attorney’s confirmation, that’s another $17,000, she said.

“Depending on what is available and what is not, there may be a special meeting between now and February 3. If nothing else, to authorize the transfer of funds to pay the payroll,” said Tony Adams.

At the December 22, 2021 meeting, Bowman said $160,000 was really needed to fund Manchester EMS. She warned that if the $160,000 could not be generated and that is what was taken from the general fund in 2022, the fund could really be compromised and Manchester would be back in a budget emergency.

“And those funds will be watched if we get close to red. We will have a special meeting and these things will be discussed. What action should we take next? Henderson said.

We will have to watch very closely, she repeated.

“We’ve seen what’s happened to us before, and look how long it took you to get to where you are,” Adams said.

The topic of discussion shifted to the EMS building rental fee of $1,000 per month.

“Everyone always has a crisis above $1,000/month, but it doesn’t cost the General Fund anything. It comes out of the EMS fund, then it goes to the Firefighters Association,” Jolly said.

Manchester Council meetings will be held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 7 p.m.

Jolly moved a motion to end business with The People’s Defender regarding the distribution of legal advertisements. Jolly offered to use another post instead. Although Francis seconded the motion, the motion failed by majority vote.