Friday, May 14th, 2021

Chickasaw could be getting first income tax

By Tom Millhouse
CHICKASAW - A possible village income tax was among the many issues discussed by Chickasaw village council members during their meeting Wednesday night.
Mayor Ben Kramer initiated the income tax discussion, noting the village is considering a $510,000 interest-free loan as part of a $2.1 million street renovation and infrastructure project. He said the loan would require a $17,000 annual payment for 30 years and there has been no discussion of how the money would be secured.
"That money has to come from somewhere," he said.
Kramer said an income tax of up to 1 percent can be imposed by council or placed on the ballot for voters to decide. He said other villages and towns in the area have an income tax.
Councilman Jeff Pohl said the village needs to generate funds.
"We need to raise some income," Pohl said.
Kramer said the city of St. Marys handles income tax collection for many villages and other municipalities in the area. He relayed information on income taxes he gleaned from a convesation with Angie Brown of the St. Marys income tax department.
He said Brown informed him that the fee for the collection of $50,000 or less would be $3,000 and for collections more than $50,000 the fee would be 5-6%.
"I don't want to be obligated to St. Marys," Pohl said, noting there are companies that also provide the collection service.
No action was taken on a possible income tax.
Craig Knapke of Access Engineering briefed council on the proposed northside improvement project, which would involve the reconstruction of Wayne Street, utility line improvements and street repaving. The project cost is estimated at $2.1 million. Knapke on Thursday said the village has been approved for a $500,000 Ohio Public Works Commission grant and a $510,000 interest-free loan for the project. Council members voted to pledge $30,000 in matching funds to help pay for the northside improvement project.
Knapke said the next step in obtaining funding for village infrastructure projects is securing a Community Development Block Grant. The village plans to apply for $750,000 in CDBG funds. The application deadline is June 16.
Knapke said the village has received several letters from residents who live on the north side of the village who gave input on the need for infrastructure improvements.
If the funding is received, the northside improvement project would be bid in January with completion expected later this year, Knapke said.
Knapke also outlined possible projects the village could consider if additional federal infrastructure funds become available. Projects include the installation of a water line from the Marion Industrial Park into the village and the replacement of cast iron water lines.
Knapke said village and county officials will be meeting today to discuss the boundaries of a possible water district for the village utility system.
Council members agreed to pay park restroom project costs not covered by COVID-relief funds. Park board official Jay Schwieterman advised council that the bill for the extra expenses, which included air pressure tanks, totaled $1,865. Schwieterman said the park board has other projects lined up and did not have funds available to also cover the extra expenses. Council agreed to use a $500 grant the village received from Midwest Electric coupled with village utility department funds to pay the outstanding bills.
Council members also,
•  gave first reading of an ordinance prohibiting solicitation in the village.
•  heard Kramer report the village is now a part of the Mercer County Improvement Corporation. The CIC would handle future village property sale at no cost.
•  approved the purchase of a water line locator at a cost of $5,343. A $4,000 grant from the Zahn Foundation will cover all but $1,343 of the cost.
•  received financial statements from fiscal officer Kelly Poeppelman relating to village expenses and revenues. The village will have a budget hearing during the next council meeting. She said the village must approve a budget in June.
•  went into executive session to discuss personnel issues. No action was taken after the session.
The next council meeting is 8 p.m. June 9 at village hall.
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