By DAVID GREEN
Fayette is joining a growing list of Ohio communities expressing opposition to a proposal by the governor to move the collection of municipal income tax to the Ohio Department of Taxation.
If the change were made, the state would charge an administrative fee—an amount that some communities believe would exceed what they pay a local employee to do the work.
State administrators claim the change would lower costs, reduce staff and provide greater consistency, but government leaders from communities around the state have expressed concern about the loss of local revenue.
Village solicitor Tom Thompson told village council members Nov. 23 that he has assisted several other communities in drafting a letter of opposition and he would also help Fayette.
Council heard the first reading of a proposed resolution in support of reforming the federal Clean Water Act. The resolution was first proposed in June at the United States Conference of Mayors in Baltimore.
The resolution acknowledges the federal regulations to install new infrastructure to prevent the discharge of untreated sewage into open water, but it also points out the high costs involved.
The resolution urges Congress to create a true federal/local partnership to provide at least 50 percent of the costs, and failing that, to make compliance schedules no less than 30 years in order to prevent levying unaffordable utility rates on poor and middle class households; to allow the incorporation of green infrastructure solutions; to focus on real improvements in water quality rather than an arbitrary number of allowable overflows; to use two percent of median household income as the ceiling when determining affordability; and to make communities responsible for compliance with water quality standards based on an assessment of degradation caused to water bodies.
AUDITORS—Several auditing firms are expected to submit bids to serve as the village’s financial auditor.
NW FULTON—Interim administrator Tom Clemensen said the Northwest Fulton Street lift station is ready to operate, but some residences will first be connected to the line. Taylor Excavating was hired to handle the final work since that firm was involved in the main portion of the job.
Clemensen said funding for this portion of the job will not come out of the grant money, but will instead be paid from a utility enhancement fund.
TREE COMMISSION—Mayor Ruth Marlatt read letters of resignation from tree commission members Arlene and Dennis Canfield. Council voted to appoint Dan Shock to fill one of the two vacant seats.
TREE REMOVAL—Clemensen said that a review is needed of the list of dead and dying trees slated for cutting. There are trees that will have to be cut for the sewer overflow project, he said, and perhaps they should be added to the current phase of cutting.
PARKS—The three applicants seeking to fill the park director post will be reviewed this week.
WATER TOWER—Council approved hiring a firm to examine and service the water tower at a cost of $1,170.
SIDEWALKS—Sidewalk review board member Rodney Kessler told council that a decision about sidewalk inspections for property on the north and west end of town will wait until the spring.
FILLING IN—Clemensen thanked Dee Ferguson for volunteering time in the office and also as a recording secretary at the meeting during the absence of Lisa Zuver and Dee Potter.
DECORATIONS—Mayor Marlatt thanked those involved in constructing new Christmas decorations for the downtown. Workers were Tom Franks, David Borer, Adam Borer, Dan Knierim, Brad Knierim, Jonah Stiriz and Victor Garcia.
“They look terrific,” she said.