The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Northwood’s Finance Committee discussed the possibility of placing a 0.25 percent income tax hike on the ballot to stem the continuing loss of revenue.

“We talked about a 0.25 percent increase for five years, and possibly put that on the ballot in November,” Councilman Mike Myers said at a council meeting March 11.

The committee also discussed reducing to 50 percent the 100 percent tax credit for residents who work outside the city, he said.

“If the .25 percent passed, that would go away,” said Myers.

Other possibilities included a 10 percent pay cut for the mayor and city council, 3 percent pay cuts for non-union employees, and an adjustment of revenue allocated to the budget, said Myers. Currently, 70 percent of revenue goes into the general budget, 20 percent into capital improvements, and 10 percent for capital repairs. The proposed adjustment would allocate 80 percent of the revenue to the general budget, and 20 percent into capital improvements.

“That would give us a saving of $S720,342 and a carryover of $220,000,” said Myers.

Mayor Mark Stoner told council that the city’s income tax revenues dropped again in March as they did in the first two months of this year.

“Income tax collection for the year to date is $573,736, which is a decrease of $102,261, or 15.9 percent over the same period of 2009,” said Stoner. If income tax collections are down 15 percent by the end of this year, the city would have to cut $697,458 in expenditures from the budget, with $488,221 from the general fund, he said.

Five Oregon businesses were honored at the 17th Annual Prism Award ceremony

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Wednesday night at Sunrise Park and Banquet Center in Millbury.

The General Excellence Award went to Sunoco Toledo Refinery, the Pioneer Award to A.A. Boos, the Horizon Award to Eagle’s Nest Sweet Retreat, the Community Improvement Award to the James “Wes” Hancock Oregon Senior Center, and the Best Practice Award to Bay Park Community Hospital — all Oregon businesses.

Sunoco, a manufacturer and marketer of petroleum and petrochemical products with 500 employees and 400 independent contractors on the site daily, has been in businesses since 1986. Sunoco is one of the largest independent refiner-marketers in the nation.

“Sunoco has been a part of this community for well over 100 years,” marketing director Olivia Summons said. “Despite all the activity that’s going on right now in East Toledo, we aim to stay here and keep these jobs in East Toledo.”

The General Excellence Award is given to either large or small businesses based on how the company excels in certain criteria.

Bob Marquette, chairman of Oregon’s Health and Welfare Committee, was

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                    Bob Marquette

honored as Person of the Year, and Gross Electric was honored on its 100th anniversary at the 17th Annual Prism Award ceremony at Sunrise Park and Banquet Center on Woodville Road.

The business awards were hosted by the Eastern Maumee Bay Chamber of Commerce, and local television news broadcaster Chrys Peterson returned as emcee.

Peterson recognized the camaraderie displayed by businesses and community leaders throughout the ceremony, despite the economic conditions locally.

“We all know that every single job is worth fighting for in this bad economy,” Peterson said.

“I was born and raised in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. and when I go home I know it’s not like this — people that give you a hug and shake your hand,” Peterson continued after the ceremony.

“For those of you who grew up here, I hope you appreciate that because it’s not like this everywhere you go. We do a lot of negative news, especially in this bad economy we’re in, so it’s always good to see something positive recognized.”

Terry Breymaier, the 2009 Person of the Year, presented Marquette with the 2010 award. Breymeier was awarded mostly for his community service with Friends of Pearson Park.

The state auditor’s office has issued a finding for recovery against former Jerusalem Township Trustee Rodney Graffis for receiving health insurance reimbursements of $7,566.03 in 2008 for which he was not eligible.

The finding is part of a 2008 audit of the township’s finances that trustees requested last year.

It is the second time the auditor has issued a finding of recovery against Graffis. In 2007, an audit showed the township paid Graffis $20,174.04 in health insurance reimbursements he was ineligible to receive.

The Ohio Revised Code permits townships to reimburse their officers and employees for health insurance premiums when they incur out-of-pocket expenses for coverage. Though Graffis asked for, and received health insurance reimbursements from the township in 2007 and 2008, he was already getting such coverage from his union.

“A finding of recovery for public monies illegally expended is issued against Rodney Graffis and the Ohio Association Risk Management Authority, his bonding company, in the amount of $7,566.03 and in favor of the Jerusalem Township General Fund,” states the audit.

Consumer and environmental groups are opposing a proposed rate plan of FirstEnergy Corp. that has the backing of organizations representing schools, hospitals, and manufacturers.

FirstEnergy filed the plan with state regulators last week. If approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio it would set in place a schedule for how rates would be set for three years, starting in June, 2011 when the current plan will expire.

The plan would use a competitive bidding process to establish supply and prices for customers who don’t choose alternative providers. The same process was used by FirstEnergy’s operating companies, Toledo Edison, Ohio Edison, and Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co., last May. There would be four separate bidding sessions – one each in July and October of 2010, July 2011, and July 2012 - to determine rates.

While the plan calls for base distribution rates to remain in place, it provides for the utilities to recover the costs of property taxes, Commercial Activity Tax, income taxes as well as upgrades to distribution  systems, including substations and related equipment that were not included in the rate base determined in January, 2009.