Edgerton Council To Seek Release From Fiscal Emergency After Paying Sewer Debt Off

The Village of Edgerton will no longer have a sewer debt looming over its finances or the state of Ohio monitoring its books.

The village paid off the longstanding debt Dec. 30 with one payment of $292,959.44, according to a press release issued by the village. The move was preceded by the Village Council’s passing of an ordinance Dec. 19.

Council approved Ordinance 995 to shift about $300,000 to the sewer debt fund wiping it off the books. The action frees residents from paying a $5 per month debt service charge as well.

The village has carried the debt since the late 1970s when it began paying down the $800,000 debt. The long-term nature of the debt led the state to declare a fiscal emergency and intervene in 2013.

To get its financial house in order, the village asked and received voter support for a 0.75 percentage point increase in the income tax in 2014.

With the payment, that will be all lifted, Village Administrator Dawn Fitzcharles said. The payoff meets all the requirements, she said.

The debt was paid from a combination of approved funds with sufficient balances to sustain the payoff and not compromise the village’s financial stability, Fitzcharles stated in the press release.

“This accomplishment is a huge win for the residents and businesses of the village of Edgerton,” Fitzcharles said. “The debt payoff has cleared the path for the village of Edgerton to further advance the development and infrastructure required to grow and sustain our town.

“This achievement will have an impact lasting not just years, but for generations to come.”

The village’s plan in 2017 is to complete infrastructure projects and equipment replacement to better serve the community.

The tax increase is being credited with the village’s ability to pay off the debt.

“Without passing the income tax increase, our financial picture, would not have improve,” Fitzcharles said. “We have much to celebrate as we look back at our many accomplishments during past years.

“We are committed to staying on financial track and making positive financial decisions. This next year is an extremely exciting time for our village and entire community.

The resolution shifted:
$35,000 from Income Tax Capital
$30,000 from Permanent Improvement
$120,000 from Sewer Fund transfers
$110,000 from the General Fund

Other ordinances approved included (992) replacing pages in the codified ordinance; (993) Adopting the Financial Recovery Plan; (994) establishing salary and wage ranges for village employees and (996) establishing the permanent appropriation for 2017.

In other news,
Fitzcharles opened the sealed bids for a 1996 truck and the winning bid was $1,650.

Council approved a new contract with the firm of Bish, Butler and Thompson for legal services. In the contract, the law firm noted it had collected $40,000 in back income taxes.

A new salt spreader has been purchased which, when installed, will give the village two trucks with such capability.

Chris Pahl has been doing a good job as the new Street Supervisor. He has been cleaning the department building since his arrival.

The village office noticed an fraudulent expense on the community’s credit card for $3,500. The money has been returned to the account, Fitzcharles said.

James Pruitt may be reached at publisher@thevillagereporter.com

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