The Press Newspaper
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.
In 2005, Pemberville made plans to pay $132,000 to purchase the old Ford
Garage at 118 East Front Street for the purpose of revitalizing it into a “mini-mall.”
Bob Renz purchased the building from the village at auction for $38,000 last year, and three businesses are now located inside.
Bob Renz, his brother Bill, and a nephew have done “a lot of renovation and more is planned for the future,” stated a letter written by Bob and Bill's mother, Joan Renz. Bob estimates he has spent $15,000 so far, which includes removing part of an old wall and rebuilding a new wall, removing two windows and replacing 16 windows and siding, remodeling the bathrooms, and adding a bathroom, new door, and an office in the back.
Genoa school officials are hoping a pledge to remove property tax millage and reduce fees will make a 1 percent earned income tax levy on the May 4 ballot more palatable to senior citizens as well as parents with children enrolled in the Ottawa County district.
A financial audit of Jerusalem Township for 2008, issued by the state auditor’s office last month, showed the township’s budget was shrinking due to a poor economy.
“The challenge for all townships is to provide quality services to the public while staying within the restrictions imposed by limited, and in some cases shrinking, funding,” states the audit. The township relies heavily on local taxes and has very little industry to support the tax base.
In 2008, the total cost of services, which included public safety, public works, health, conservation-recreation, and capital outlay, was $965,973, compared to $841,757 in 2007.
The township’s general receipts, which are primarily property taxes, represent 47 percent of the total cash received for governmental activities during the year. Property tax receipts for 2008 changed very little compared to 2007 because development within the township has slowed as the result of the majority of the township being located in a flood plain.
Federal regulations, new housing starts as well as home improvements and additions in the flood plain area have been drastically curtailed due to economic conditions, states the audit.
“The dependence upon property tax receipts is apparent as $436,441 of governmental activities is supported through these general receipts,” states the audit.
No results found.