Council discusses budget; old school building

ABERDEEN, Ohio — Village council members discussed the 2018 budget, the old Aberdeen school building and the 2014-15 audit during a special meeting Tuesday.

Fiscal Officer Mary Woollard presented the budget to the council members. According to Woollard, the totals on the current budget include a beginning balance of $382,059.25, a general fund revenue of $486,227 with expenditures of $487,483; a street fund revenue of $60,650; and sewer fund revenue of $355,000.

Those totals may change before the permanent budget is approved, she said.

Councilwoman Billy Eitel said she is concerned because the city may be paying out more in expenditures than it will collect in revenue.

“We’re going to be paying out more from the general fund then we are bringing in,” she said. “My main concern lies with the general fund.”

Woollard said she has been pulling from the general fund and transferring money into different funds in order to make sure bills are paid.

“I don’t want to have to move money around to get bills paid,” she said.

The council members did not approve the budget, but agreed to set aside a time when they could discuss their issues with it further. The final budget must be approved by the end of March.

Eitel also discussed problems with the old Aberdeen School building, which is currently used as the administration building.

The large building that sits along U.S. 52 has several problems, such as cracks in the brick, leaks in the roof and is falling apart on the inside.

“We have administrators who have water coming into their rooms,” Eitel said. “The building needs to come down. I’m afraid, if it collapses, it could fall right into U.S. 52.”

Administrator Delbert Hester said he is also concerned with the possible collapse of the building.

“It could fall into the road or it could fall in the opposite direction,” he said. “If it does, and our people are in their offices, it will come right down on top of them.”

Hester said he is also concerned with being able to salvage part of the building.

“If it falls, we can’t use any of the materials. Everything will have to go to the landfill, but if we can tear it down, we can use part of it, such as the bricks, for filling.”

Hester said it would cost approximately $250,000 to $300,000 to tear down the building.

According to Hester, if the building is torn down, another building will have to be built in order to house the administration and police department.

“Right now, their offices are in the smaller building, which is connected to the gymnasium,” he said. “When it rains outside, it rains in there, too.”

Eitel said the building is one of several reasons the city needs to pass the police levy.

“What people don’t understand is that, yes, the levy will be used for the police department, but it will also allow us to release some funding that could be used for other projects, such as our streets.”

“This is for the people,” Councilman  David Wireman said, “not for us.”

Council members also briefly discussed the 2014-15 audit, in which several issues were found, at the time. The audit needed a response from the city that had never been given.

Eitel said she had marked several spots on the audit with the city’s response and would give the audit to Woollard to have turned in.