By JIM MAURER
CAREY — Carey officials will continue to discuss switching to a different firm to handle the village income tax payments, after displeasure was again voiced Monday about the Cleveland department which has handled the duty since 2016.
The annual contract with the Central Collection Agency, Division of Taxation, Cleveland is up for renewal July 1. Council’s next meeting is June 18, so it would be a tight deadline to finalize a decision by July 1, but council members voiced approval Monday for further investigation.
Residents’ complaints about the Cleveland agency include payments not being received, additional bills being sent, and long waits for assistance when personnel come to the village to meet with residents.
This most recent tax year, village residents could file the income tax form via TurboTax, which several at the meeting said was an improvement.
Alisha Wentz, village fiscal officer, will continue talks with the Findlay Income Tax Department and report back to council. Findlay already handles Arlington, Mount Cory and Vanlue income tax filings, Mayor Jenn Rathburn said.
If the village makes the change, Carey’s income tax forms would be placed on the Findlay income tax website for access by village residents.
Separately, council approved an ordinance which sets wage ranges for village employees. The legislation will be effective in 30 days.
Some police department wage changes were previously approved, and the ordinance includes those and makes changes for other village personnel.
Council also approved an ordinance to provide pay hikes for Fire Chief Chad Snyder and Assistant Fire Chief Keith O’Flaherty. The chief’s salary increased to $7,500 and the assistant chief’s to $2,500.
Previously, the chief’s position paid $3,000 and the assistant chief’s position paid $1,300.
Separately, the village received a state Environmental Protection Agency grant of $12,830 for the annual mosquito control effort. The program will use the funds for larval control, such as briquettes for standing water in catch basins, plus adult mosquito reduction through bulk drums of spray for use in a fogger, and community outreach such as advertisements, public service announcements and handouts about elimination of standing water “breeding” sites.
Also, emergency repairs have been completed on the municipal swimming pool, which opened Memorial Day weekend. Village Administrator Roy Johnson said problems with the baby pool were also addressed, with installation of new parts.
Health department inspections were completed and “everything is currently functioning properly,” Johnson said.
Residents were warned that repeat offenders of the village’s mowing ordinance should either mow their properties or face a fine if the village is forced to have the mowing done.
Some residents are still blowing grass into the street, Johnson said, which could also result in fines.
Separately, as part of the recently reinstated sidewalk replacement/repair program, the public works department will be marking sidewalks on properties along East and West Findlay streets, where property owners were recently notified by letter of “trip hazards.”
Property owners are required to get a sidewalk permit for sidewalk or driveway apron repairs or replacement.
“The permit is free, but gives us the name of the contractor, the proposed date of the repairs and alerts the owner to contact the public works department for final grade, size and depth approval before the walk is poured,” Johnson said. “If the walk is poured improperly, it will need to be ripped out and repoured.”
Separately, Rathburn said she spoke with Carey school Superintendent Mike Wank last week, and they agreed on construction of a new road with curbs from the school toward South Vance Street, on school property. The road will be one-way from the school and will allow only right turns onto South Vance Street.
They also agreed the existing road through Memorial Park, known as Blue Devil Parkway, will be one-way toward the school, or south, during school hours to reduce congestion.
Wank will discuss the issues with the school board at its next regular meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, including cost-sharing of the new road construction.
Separately, the updated design of the wastewater treatment plant continues, Johnson said, with a plan review and pre-construction conference scheduled for June 13.
The bid process will be delayed 60 to 90 days, since the village is required to have state Water Development Authority funding approval before seeking bids. Later bids will not delay construction, which is expected to begin by winter 2019, Johnson said.
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