Fayette village council 10.06

Written by David Green.


When Fayette’s tax administrator Dee Potter decides to retire, the duties covered by her might be turned over to an outside agency.

The council’s Finance Committee met last month with a representative from the Regional Income Tax Association (RITA) to learn about the organization’s services.

RITA serves as the income tax collection agency for 177 Ohio municipalities through the Regional Council of Governments. Currently, Swanton and Metamora are the only RITA members in Fulton County.

In addition to collecting taxes, RITA offers litigation services, online payment options, a free on-site representative to assist taxpayers during tax season, tax code recommendations and more.

By phasing out the tax administrator job, a rough estimate suggests savings of about $30,000 annually.

Committee member Tommy Molitierno expressed concern about an increase in the workload for existing village hall employees. He suggested that the tax administrator keep a log of daily activities to help the committee decide the feasibility of joining RITA.

Village administrator Amy Metz said six months is the typical lead-in time for a community to begin working with RITA, but a small government such as Fayette could be on-line yet this year.

BILLS—Metz told council at the Sept. 21 meeting that the village is getting very strict on the collection of water payments. She said it isn’t uncommon to find several postcards on a residence warning about a possible service shutoff.

Metz said that alternatives are suggested, including financial assistance, and payment schedules are encouraged. But if scheduled payments aren’t made, water service will be shut off.

Outstanding utility accounts are being assessed on property tax statements.

UNEMPLOYMENT—Metz learned that unemployment in Fulton County dropped from 12.6 percent a year ago to 9.7 percent in August.

In Williams County, the rated dropped from 15.8 percent to 11.8 percent in August. Statewide, only a small decline was posted.

ELECTRICITY—Village project engineer Bob Seigneur compared five potential electrical suppliers, but only two presented offers.

Duke Energy offered power at 6.3 cents a kilowatt hour on a nine-month term. The village’s current supplier, First Energy Solutions, offered rates ranging from 6.7 cents to 8.2 cents on a nine-year term. First Energy offers a six percent discount for residential users and a four percent discount for industrial users on the generation and transmission portion of a customer’s bill.

MEETING—Council voted 4-0, with Molitierno and Mike Maginn absent, to continue committee of the whole meetings at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of the month, through the end of the year. The regular council meeting follows on the third Tuesday of the month, at 7 p.m.

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    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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