Blan passes budget

By John Hamilton -

BLANCHESTER — Blanchester officially has a budget.

The 2017 budget was passed during Thursday night’s council meeting. Set at $15.5 million, it was passed after long discussions at previous meetings. Mayor John Carman said that the general budget also includes the Board of Public Affairs.

“It feels good to be able to pass a budget that actually has black ink instead of red ink,” said Carman. “However, it did take us transferring funds from another account.”

Carman said they are transferring $100,000 from the Solid Waste department, which helped balanced it. He said that, worst-case scenario, if that didn’t happen, it would create an $81,000 deficit.

“We’re hopeful that (the courts) support the transfer,” said Carman.

During the meeting, Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt asked what the official budget was for the police department is — it’s $564,000. According to Reinbolt, this is a one-percent cut from last year’s budget — something he can work with.

The mayor said that the next focus for village council is generating revenue. He said they’ve continued to see cuts made to the money the state of Ohio shares with local governments, and he said there could be more reductions.

“We need to come up with a way to handle those shortfalls where we used to get money,” he said. One way of doing that is through an earnings tax by way of a new tax levy for parks and recreation on the ballot.

Also during council:

• Mayor Carman stated at the beginning of the meeting that they had been in contact with the Ohio Department of Transportation, the village has put a sign up on the roadside rest stop indicating that it is closed; the village no longer maintains it.

By John Hamilton

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574