By Sean Rice
Not enough Celina City Council members were present Monday to finalize the ordinance limiting the income tax credit given to out-of-city workers at 1 percent.
Celina residents who work outside the city and pay income tax to another community are not required to pay Celina also. If the 0.5 percent income tax increase on the ballot is approved on Election Day, the tax credit ordinance would require all city residents to pay the 0.5 percent increased tax.
Only four of seven council members were present Monday and the emergency ordinance limiting the credit could not be passed. Ohio law requires the votes of five council members to pass issues as an emergency. Emergency legislation takes effect immediately and is immune to citizen referendum. Standard legislation takes 30 days to become effective.
Members scheduled a special council meeting for 6 p.m. Thursday to address the tax credit and other emergency issues on the table.
Emergency resolutions supporting the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) baseball tournament and Ohio's local government assistance funds also will be up for approval Thursday. The NCCAA baseball tournament was held in Celina for the last four years. The resolution asks the association to hold the tournament in Celina for two more years.
The local government fund resolution urges the state legislature to protect and keep the local government funds, which provide Celina with about $434,000 annually.
Council members Monday passed the first reading of the only non-emergency issue on the agenda, a supplemental appropriations ordinance. Several dollar amounts are to be reallocated in the city budget in the supplemental ordinance as a final correction to the original budget.
If the measure passes all three readings, approximately $25,000 would be moved into the parks budget from the general fund because of unrealized estimated revenue, Auditor Pat Smith explained. Approximately $10,000 would be moved within the water fund for repairs to water lines, and about $80,000 would be shuffled within the electric department for pay for refinancing fees.
In other business, council members said they still want to discuss Celina's water future. Officials recently found out a multi-state treaty with Canada regarding the Great Lakes watershed may prohibit Celina from constructing a water plant using wells.
"It pretty much paralyzes our ability to go into well water," member Collin Bryan said.
"We have definitely come to a major bump in the road, but I'm not ready to throw in the towel on the wells yet," member Denny Smith said.