Village Sets Financial Plans

NEW KNOXVILLE — Village councilors are looking to protect the financial future of New Knoxville with the passage of the first reading of two ordinances Tuesday night at their village council meeting.

The first ordinance, a cash reserve policy, defined how much money the village should keep in its reserve.

“It just puts into words a policy about how much we should keep on reserve,” New Knoxville Fiscal Officer Janet Beall said.

Council President Mark Howe touted the policy as beneficial to the village.

“It’s well put together, and it allows us to protect the assets for the village,” he said. “It was nicely done.”

The second ordinance, an investment policy, focused on how the village can spend its money.

“It’s a good thing for the village,” Howe said. “It sets the groundwork for how we handle our monies that are entrusted to us. I think it helps us, again, with the safeguard of the assets that we have to be fiscally responsible for.”

Councilors entered into executive session to discuss property and wages. Upon reconvening in regular session, councilors passed an ordinance, as an emergency, to award a one-time, 2 percent bonus to village employees based on their semiannual base salary.

“At the beginning of the year when we looked at wages, we didn’t know where we were at, and in that economic climate, we decided to hold tight,” Mayor Keith Leffel said. “We didn’t award any raises, and we said we look at it in the middle of the year … We’ve seen a nice bounce back in our income tax, and I think our village workers have done an outstanding job of doing everything they can to conserve cost.”

Leffel said the bonuses, which will amount to $2,666.46, show the councilors appreciate the village employees’ efforts.

“I feel they’ve done an outstanding job, as well as council feels that way, so based on that, we’re awarding them a 2 percent bonus based on their semiannual base salary,” Leffel said. “We appreciate their efforts. Obviously, everybody in the last few years has had to look at what is important and what is not important, and our group here in the village has done an outstanding job.”

In other business, councilors:

• Approved the June 12 meeting minutes.

• Approved the modified agenda.

• Approved a pay ordinance.

• Approved a motion authorizing Village Administrator Rex Katterheinrich to pursue the purchase of a fire truck. The used fire engine will replace the fire department’s oldest truck, and its purchase will be a joint venture between the village and Washington Township.

• Heard a report from Katterheinrich in which he requested councilors to consider what public works projects they would like to see done in 2013, as villages in Auglaize County will receive grant money next year.

The next regular meeting of the Village of New Knoxville Council will be held at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 14 in the village administration building.