Haskins debates town hall financing PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer   
Wednesday, 23 October 2013 10:03
File photo. The former Haskins Elementary in Haskins, Ohio is seen while the building is demolished. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
HASKINS - A debate on the financing of the village's upcoming town hall project dominated Monday's council meeting.
The new building, to be located on the site of the former Haskins Elementary School at 405 N. Findlay St., is expected to encompass 4,000 square feet and cost between $350,000 and $400,000.
The village offices, including the police department, administrative offices and council meeting space, are currently squeezed into an aging former church building at 100 N. Church St.
Village Administrator Colby Carroll said Monday that quotes for lending rates had been recently sought from two local banks. Council member Ashley Brooks expressed concern that the payments over 15 years could be too great for the village to bear.
She estimated that the cost could be as much as $25,000 every six months, if the payment were $4,000 each month. The village had initially hoped monthly payments could be as low as $1,500 to $2,000.
Council member Helen Bonnough said that "we can still do a 30-year loan through USDA" as a possible option.
"It's not going to be that much, is it?" asked councilman Phil Tipton regarding Brooks' figures.
"I think that budget's just ludicrous," said Brooks later, calling such payments "financial suicide."
Mayor Paul Gies countered that what must be considered is the remaining life of the current village hall versus the long life expectancy for a new building.
Carroll made calculations at his seat and said that, based on the more favorable of to two banks' quotes, monthly payments could be $2,762 per month for 15 years - meaning payments every six months of $16,572.
Some on council also discussed the possibility that village monies could additionally be used to pay down that amount significantly.
A Committee of the Whole meeting was tentatively scheduled for Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss financial matters.
In other business, council:
• Learned that quotes have been requested for the purchase of a replacement truck for public services.
• Heard that the annual Christmas lights installed in a tree at Lusher park may have to be moved, as the traditional tree now has a number of dead areas that could prove to be a fire hazard.
"I'm thinking that it's something on the facilities and grounds side that we need to look at," said Carroll.
• Determined the Halloween Parade will be held Saturday at 6 p.m., beginning in the old school parking lot.
• Was told by Carroll that issues have been raised concerning stray and feral cats in the village.
"We're getting a lot of complaints. There's been some property destroyed," he said. Some residents, he said, have been taking the cats and having them spayed and neutered - and then releasing them again into the wild. The possibility of enacting legislation about the feral cat issue was briefly discussed.
• Heard that the village is looking into acquiring dashboard cameras for the police cruisers through a grant program.
• Heard from Wood Lane Director of Children's Services Lorraine Flick concerning that agency's 2.95-mill levy on the November 5 ballot.

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