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Community News

Lakemore half way out of fiscal emergency

9/5/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Emily Chesnic

Lakemore Village Mayor Rick Justice reported on the village’s financial position at the Sept. 3 Council meeting.

“The good news is we are headed in the right direction,” he said, adding the village is 50 percent out of fiscal emergency.

On Aug. 31, 2010, the state put Lakemore in fiscal emergency, as the village’s deficit in the General Fund deepened to $1.1 million. At the time, Lakemore officials cited a drastic decrease in revenues and increase in expenditures for the bleak economic state of the village.

Significant cuts were made so the village could begin chipping away at the deficit, however, Justice said.

“Little by little, we have been working our way out,” he said.

According to Justice, the most important thing the village can do is to keep moving toward the goal: to emerge from fiscal emergency in a timely manner.

He announced at the meeting that Lakemore now has a deficit in the General Fund of about $650,000.

“I am very encouraged by that,” Justice said. “But, we have to keep our focus.”

The mayor acknowledged current road issues in the village and the Lakemore Fire Department’s need for a new ambulance, but said the village must stay on track to keep seeing the deficit decrease.

“Our expenditures have stabilized. We cut everything we can,” he explained. “We have to continue to pull out and will do so ahead of schedule.”

Justice said revenue is increasing faster than expected, as well, which is exciting news.

“In a couple of good moves, we can be out very quickly,” he added. “I am happy with where we are at, and the state commission is happy at where we are at, too.”

In addition, Justice reported on the village’s current demolition program through the Moving Ohio Forward grant program. He said three blighted homes have been taken down in the village with the grant funding and six more will be taken down soon.

“This is helping our property values and the health and welfare of the village,” he said.

Also during the meeting, Council reappointed Robb Seders to a six-year term on the Lakemore Planning Commission, with the term to expire Oct. 7, 2019.

Council reappointed John Brown and Thomas Gostlin to one-year terms on the Lakemore Board of Zoning and Building Appeals, with the terms to expire Sept. 3, 2014.

Council also appointed George Malek and Cathy Cliver to two-year terms on the Board of Zoning and Building Appeals, with the terms to expire Sept. 3, 2015, and Elizabeth Ray and Larry Petry Jr. to three-year terms on the same board, with the terms to expire Sept. 3, 2016.

In other city business, Justice thanked the Lakemore Tavern for recently raising $600 to help fund the purchase of clothing and school items for 17 children in need in the village.

Also, Linda Denton, of the Volunteer Auxiliary Springfield Police, announced Springfield, in cooperation with Oldies and Goodies Restaurant, will host a car cruise-in Sept. 22 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Vincent J. Mealy Bicentennial Gazebo at Lakefront Park, 2491 Canfield Road. The event will include live music, concessions and Tim Arfon’s “Green Monster” dragster race car.

The next regular Council meeting will take place Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Municipal Building, 1400 Main St.

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