City council meets, assures transport funds transparent

By John Hamilton - [email protected]

WILMINGTON — A removed financial item will be subject to further discussions.

At Thursday’s Wilmington City Council meeting — while discussing an ordinance making supplemental appropriations — Councilmember Nick Eveland asked to remove an item appropriating an estimated $75,000 from the Public Transit Reserve Fund to the “Reserve Fund Expense.”

Eveland’s reason was because he didn’t know what the money would be spent on, especially with the amount being transferred.

He’d prefer it be brought before the City Services Committee for discussion.

City Auditor Mary Kay Vance explained the money for the reserve funds is collected from contract services that the city’s transit service has with Wilmington City Schools for a certain amount to transport students.

“So anytime we collect contract money, it’s not new money, it’s not grant money, it’s not federal money, it was money we were going to collect anyway,” she said.

Eveland expressed concern that there were “no strings attached” to the transferred amount, outside of what the Ohio Department of Transport dictates the funds can be used on.

He felt that there were two ways they could handle this: put it off later and supplement later, or ask the transit service to appear before them and say what they’d use the money on.

Mayor John Stanforth didn’t agree with Eveland’s idea, saying the money is already under administration control and that they should trust the transit service to make correct decisions.

Councilmember and Finance Committee Chair Michael Allbright advised he was fine with having the estimate as an anticipation amount. Councilmember Matt Purkey advised he didn’t have an issue with the amount; he was just wanted to have a further discussion on the topic.

The items was removed from the ordinance in a 4-2 vote with Allbright and Councilmember Bill Liermann voting no. Councilmember Michael Snarr was absent from the meeting.

The ordinance was later approved by all the members after the amendment. No future discussion date on the removed item was announced.

Also during council:

• The council performed the final reading and approved the ordinance raising the salaries for city councilmembers and appointed salaried positions. Beginning with councilmembers’ next term (after the next council election), the salary would be set at a minimum $5,354 per year.

By John Hamilton

[email protected]

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574