Weston residents hear from officials different ways village could save money


WESTON – Local residents heard three ways that could help them and their community save money, from
special guests attending a combined council and public meeting held Monday in the fire hall.
Wood County Commissioner Tim Brown announced, in regards to the county, "The biggest source of
revenue is that 1 percent of sales tax. … The tax rate is less than in any of our surrounding
counties. You can save money when you purchase here."
Brown noted the commissioners worked on getting more retail businesses so residents now have "a lot
more opportunity" to stay in Wood County to shop.
In addition, Ken Rieman with the Wood County Solid Waste Management District explained a savings program
for communities that direct all of their waste hauling to the Wood County Landfill. If all of its trash
goes there, then yard waste and brush from the residents of that community will be accepted free. The
cost is normally $20 per ton.
He said if Weston council approved an ordinance that all residents’ trash had go to the landfill, and
enforced it, then their yard waste will be taken free. Currently each resident in the village contracts
with a sanitation company of choice, whether a local hauler or a large, out-of-area company which may
take the trash to outside landfills.
"Doing your business with a local provider helps the village," stated Councilman Mark Sheffer.
"Sometimes the short-term effect isn’t as good as long-term. Consider who you use to haul your
trash out. It’s worth it to look at everything, not just a few cents. Keep in mind the big
Rieman said the landfill accepts yard waste for its compost pile. Some tree limbs are ground twice and
screened to make landscaping mulch which can be purchased right there. "Bring us your trash and
bring a little money, too," he said.
Brenda Fargo, with First Energy Solutions, explained how nine communities, including two from Wood
County, banded together as the Northwest Ohio Aggregation Coalition, and worked out a discount on their
electrical service. She detailed the process they had to go through, including putting a local issue on
the ballot, getting certified and choosing either a fixed price or a percent-off program.
She fielded several questions from the audience and noted she did not know if NOAC is seeking new
members, though bigger did not mean better. Fargo said she has helped 22 communities through the ballot
Ohio Rep. Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, was asked about the situation in the Otsego School District
which has announced the closing of Weston Elementary. Weston resident Jim Repolesk informed Gardner
about the school board’s plan to build a central elementary school and possibly finance it through a
lease-purchase plan.
"Is there any way the legislature can look at holding school boards accountable for misuse of
funds?" asked Repolesk. "I’m afraid they’ll lead us into massive debt without being able to
pay for it." He also asked if the purpose of the law which allows the lease-purchase plan is to
"circumvent the voters."
Gardner said he can’t tell officials what to do but reminded the audience they have the right to make
changes on the school board. He did warn school boards looking at money coming to school districts,
including the fiscal stabilization money from the federal government to the states.
"It has masked the real situation in Ohio. The result is a net reduction of state aid to local
schools," said Gardner. "Every school district will get a net cut on state aid over the next
two years. Anyone believing they are benefiting from new federal money …, if they rely on that, you’ll
be in debt before two years."
Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn urged guests to visit the newly-revised Web site www.woodcountysheriff.com and
sign up for Nixle, the community alert system. Asked about crime, he said thefts of metal are fewer
because the price for it is down, but home break-ins which have been solved, were found to be by drug
addicts looking for cash and electronics.

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