Northfield OKs $2.58 million budget for first 3 months of 2021, considers fire truck purchase

Ken Lahmers, Correspondent
Kent Weeklies

NORTHFIELD – Temporary appropriations for the first quarter of 2021 are in place after Village Council approved them Dec. 9. The figures are $1.64 million in the general fund and $2.58 million in all funds.

The appropriations cover anticipated expenditures through March 31, 2021, and Council must adopt permanent appropriations for the remainder of the year by that date.

Major expenditures in the general fund are anticipated to be as follows: police department, $415,000; service department, $300,000;contributions, $250,000; general government, $125,000; law department, $38,000; finance department, $31,000; mayor’s court, $21,000; mayor’s office, $11,000; and Council, $10,000.

Figures for other funds are set as follows: street construction and maintenance, $350,000; fire levy, $325,000; sewer, $130,000; police pension, $55,000; Northfield Park TIF, $50,000; and earned benefits, $32,000.

NEW FIRE TRUCK

Council set a special meeting for Dec. 22 at 7:30 p.m. to further discuss the purchase of a Pierce fire pumper truck from Finley Fire Equipment of McConnelsville.

Legislation to buy the truck was on the Dec. 9 agenda, but after extensive discussion Council decided not to waive the three readings procedure and adopt a resolution until after the special meeting. The proposed purchase price is $574,251.

Law Director Brad Bryan and Finance Director Jennifer Potvin said they needed a little more time to study the contract terms and financing options before Council moves forward with the purchase.

Potvin said the village could save about $100,000 in interest if it purchases the truck outright rather than financing it over several years. The cost of the truck may rise after Dec. 31 if Council does not OK the purchase by then.

Fire Chief Jason Buss and Councilman Gary Vojtuch stressed that getting the new truck as soon as possible is crucial because the truck it would replace is 28 years old, and is past its recommended 25-year life span.

Buss pointed out it takes from 10 to 12 months to build a truck, and waiting a few more months to order one could be a liability for the village because of the age of the current truck. Some Council reps indicated they want to finalize the purchase by year’s end.

OTHER BUSINESS

Council OK’d one-year collective bargaining agreements with police department personnel represented by the Ohio Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and service department personnel represented by the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, which all call for a 1 percent salary increase.

The IAM agreement raises workers’ cell phone allowance from $60 to $70 per month. Council also OK’d the $70 rate for the engineer, finance director and police and fire chiefs, but the latter two waived the offer to save the expense.

Daniel Collins was hired as village engineer at a pro-rated $100,000 per year for a minimum of 40 hours per week. He is a Nordonia High graduate and Macedonia resident with 24 years of civil engineering experience.

He replaces Richard Wasosky, who served as village engineer for 35 years. Several village officials and Council reps praised Wasosky for his many years of service, and wished him well in the future.

Council set the following salaries for 2021: Police Chief John Zolgus, $84,801; Potvin, $78,780; Bryan, $34,4128 plus $130 per hour; and Buss, $30,308. Hourly rates for full- and part-time fire department personnel also were approved.

Mayor Jesse Nehez reported the old fence along Valley View Road at the Northfield-Macedonia Cemetery has been removed and will not be replaced. He said a newer fence on the Olde Eight Road side of the property is being repainted.

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