WILMINGTON — A judge decreed on Thursday the Village of Sabina can transfer $200,000 from the town’s Sewer Sanitation Reserve Emergency Fund to the General Fund where it will get spent on general operations.
Clinton County Common Pleas Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck confirmed a need for the transfer of funds. Generally the dollars in a municipality’s Sanitary Sewer Fund can legally be spent only on the sewer system.
Prior to the judge granting the Village of Sabina’s request for the $200,000 transfer, Sabina Mayor Dean Hawk gave reasons in the courtroom on why the funds transfer is needed.
The mayor cited a loss of business in the village, specifically mentioning the closing of four plants during recent years. In turn, the Village of Sabina’s treasury lost the revenue that had been generated by the 350 or so employees who no longer paid the village earnings tax.
The closing of DHL at the Wilmington Air Park just down the road from Sabina “affected a lot of our people which really hurt our economy in the village,” Hawk told the judge.
“In addition to that, the state took away the inheritance tax that we used to get, and they also cut in half the local government fund [dollars] that used to come from the state,” the mayor continued.
Village officials such as council members and the law director were willing to wait on their paychecks until after the expected funds transfer “because we couldn’t make payroll out of the General Fund,” said Hawk.
“It’s pretty nice to have people that will volunteer to hold off their pay so you can make your payroll [for the full-time village employees],” Hawk added.
The newly accessible funds do not solve Sabina’s General Fund difficulties for the longer term, the mayor said Thursday.
Village officials anticipate placing a 0.5 percent additional earnings tax on the May ballot. On Thursday, officials in Sabina received the state-approved ballot language of the tax issue.
Hawk said that essentially Village officials are pledging to the people that every penny generated from the added 0.5 percent earnings tax will go to operating the village police department.
“So, if the [tax] levy doesn’t pass, we will have to drastically cut the police department to where we won’t begin to be covered all the time,” said Hawk.
Prior to the common pleas judge’s authorization of the funds transfer, the State of Ohio Tax Commissioner Joseph W. Testa consented to the transfer.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.