Budget Hearing/Council Meeting for Zanesville

by Brittany Harris on December 13, 2010 at 11:23 am

A budget meeting was held Monday night to review a proposal for the city of Zanesville’s 2011budget in hopes of fixing its nearly $500,000 deficit.

Furlough days were addressed, but since the administration has not met with the various unions involved, a decision could not be reached on whether they would be implemented.

During the meeting, Fire Chief Dave Lacy was questioned by council members about why he isn’t being more proactive in seeking grants for the fire department, to help alleviate its overtime issue, which was originally suppose to be resolved by appointing lieutenants.

"The plan with the lieutenants was that it would cut down the overtime, and at that time we had 200-some thousand in overtime and it went up to 400-some thousand the next year, that did not help," said Council Member Daniel Vincent.

Vincent said now new ideas need to be introduced. Police Chief Eric Lambes spoke about the furlough days and how it may affect crime in the city because there will be less patrolmen on duty at one time.

"I am very concerned about cutting back any in our safety forces, with the police, they’re already down four officers right now, it’s not good," said Vincent.

Another budget meeting will be held on Wednesday at 5 p.m. to finish reviewing the proposal. A temporary decision must be reached by December 27th.

At tonights City Council Meeting an ordinance was introduced allowing the removal and replacement of all Ash Trees that may be infected by the Emerald Ash Borer which are migrating to southeast Ohio.

"Right now we have an opportunity to take advantage of a grant to get a step ahead of them, they’re going to come, they’re going to destroy our ash trees, it will happen," said Vincent.

Other ordinances discussed were the city’s storm sewer project and for the public water system to prevent contaminated backflow. The Joint Economic Development District ordinance was tabled again due to minimal communication with Falls Township.