The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

A final 2010 appropriations budget is expected to go before Genoa Village Council next week.

The village finance committee met Monday to hammer out details for the upcoming year’s budget. Suggestions and recommendations are now in the hands of Village Administrator Garth Reynolds for fine-tuning prior to the presentation to council.

“I am anticipating taking the final appropriations package to council March 1,” Reynolds said Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier this year, council approved a $7,745,000 temporary budget to maintain village operations until the final budget is passed. By law, that budget must be in place by March 30.

The past several months have been spent examining cost-cutting measures and trimming non-essentials. In 2009, the village spent $8,691,000 to run the western Ottawa County government.

Reynolds and Fiscal Officer Charles Brinkman expect the budget to fall closer to $7.5 million to $8 million for annual operations.

 

The Oregon Economic Development Foundation is cautioning its members to beware of an individual who is contacting businesses claiming to be conducting a survey for the city.

Gary Thompson, executive director of the Foundation, sent e-mails out to members this week, saying the individual is asking detailed business questions.

“Please be informed that the City of Oregon is not conducting any kind of survey, nor do they have anyone soliciting area businesses. If you receive this call, please handle it appropriately according to your own procedures understanding that the person on the other end of the phone is not from the City of Oregon,” states the e-mail.

Thompson told The Press that the city had contacted him to ask that he send out the e-mails to Foundation members.

The city received a complaint from a local businessman who had received a call from someone identifying themselves as “Keith” who claimed to be conducting a survey for the city. The man asked how many employees were in the business, and wanted to know its annual payroll. When the businessman asked Keith his last name, he hung up the phone.

The State Fire Marshal has ruled a fire at the Stony Ridge Inn, Latcha Road, was caused by arson and is asking for more information about the blaze from the public.

Investigators were able to rule out all accidental causes for the fire, which was reported about 5:47 a.m. on Feb. 17, and found significant evidence the fire was intentionally set.  The fire marshal’s office said “specific information” about the fire was also gathered during interviews over the two days following the fire.

Now, investigators are asking for other witnesses to come forward and a Blue Ribbon Arson Award notice has been posted at the property. A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the identification of those responsible.

No one was seriously injured in the fire, which caused heavy damage to the restaurant and bar of the inn. The nearby hotel wasn’t affected.

“Working together, investigators from all of the involved agencies have been able to put together a clear picture of what occurred Wednesday morning at the Stony Ridge Inn,” said Tim Spradlin, Chief of the State Fire Marshal’s Fire and Explosion Investigation Bureau. “We believe, though, someone still has more information about the case and we hope they will come forward.”

With less revenue flowing into city coffers, Northwood is considering deeper budget cuts or the possibility of an increase in the income tax.
 
Mayor Mark Stoner said last week that there was nearly a 5 percent reduction in revenue in January compared to last January.
 
“The income tax collections were $184,097, a decrease of $8,934, or 4.6 percent from the same period of 2009,” Stoner told council at a Feb. 11 meeting.
 
Stoner said he would be regularly providing council with financial updates from Finance Director Toby Schroyer at each council meeting.

Woodmore school officials are banking on a spring levy to wipe away the winter blues.
 
The Woodmore Board of Education Tuesday agreed to put a 2.99-mill emergency levy before voters May 4, schools treasurer Kevin Slates said.
 
The emergency levy would cover the cost of utilities, salaries, benefits and other expenses.
 
The decision was hard for school officials but necessary, they say.
 
The district, which spans portions of Ottawa and Sandusky counties, would receive about $450,000 annually over the next five years, beginning in January 2011 if voters approve the levy.

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