Edison Council cuts budget, seeks law enforcement

By Alberta Stojkovic - The Sentinel

EDISON — After receiving an official request from Morrow County Auditor Pat Davies, Edison Mayor Patti Feustal asked the finance committee to meet and make budget cuts.

Edison Council members reviewed the letter from Davies concerning the recent decline in gas tax revenue that is causing this request for cuts. Davies notes that the decrease in gas tax and motor vehicle tax is due to the governor’s stay-at-home order, which has resulted in less travel.

Because of this decrease in tax revenue the county budget commission is asking villages and townships to reduce their revenue estimates by 20 percent.

Edison Fiscal officer Bruce Seaburn said that the gas tax decrease will primarily affect the roads and streets. However there may be some additional loss seen in July as property taxes are paid.

Police presence

Council member Dawn Salisbury said even though there are required budget cuts, a police presence is needed in the village. This is more of a problem lately.

Seaburn said that money was budgeted for a law enforcement contract in budget appropriations.

Council member Erica Walsh expressed concern that residents not get harassed for minor or petty things.

Council member Ruth Davis noted that speeding is a problem again with the arrival of spring.

Several commented that they have seen the Sheriff’s deputies in the village occasionally and believe that a more regular presence could make a difference.

Salisbury said it’s important to have good communications with law enforcement so they know what village expectations are and what priorities the village has in enforcement.

After more discussion, council approved a motion for the mayor to enter into a contract with the Sheriff’s Office for a four-month contract for the village. This would be reviewed after the summer if the Sheriff is willing to agree to a short contract.

The original plan was for a three-year contract, but with the uncertainty of income, the village is seeking a shorter one.

In other business:

• Council welcomed new board member, Mary Swartwood. She will replace Jeremie West who resigned from council in March.

• Clean-up weekend details were discussed and put on hold until there is more information. Committee members are Chris Kniepp, Dawn and Kevin Salisbury.

• Council approved improvements for the fire extinguishers in the municipal building.

• Council discussed need to delay any plans for street work or other expenditures. Council member Sandy Ackerman said that even though finances are in better shape now with the General Fund, they need to be careful for the future. Taxes could be down for a couple years.

• Seaburn said they can possibly take some money from the general fund for any emergency or needed street repairs.

• Council approved payment of April bills for $12,360.40 and for May $78,337.04. Seaburn noted that $74,000 goes to BPA for sewer and water each year.

• The next meeting of the Edison Council will be Monday, June 8 at 7 p.m. in the Municipal Building.

By Alberta Stojkovic

The Sentinel