Council discusses bicentennial fund

By Kelsey Kimbler -

CAMDEN — The Village of Camden’s bicentennial planning is under way, but there seems to have been a misunderstanding in allotting the village’s monetary donation of $10,000 to the committee.

During a village council meeting on Thursday, June 1, on the council’s agenda was a discussion of funds for the committee. It was said that, if there is any money left after the celebration, it is moved back into the General Fund for use.

Council member Judy Michael questioned, “Did I hear you say that the committee cannot get any more than the $10,000 we donated?”

Fiscal Officer Rebecca Wilson responded that she was correct, the $10,000 is the set limit for the committee.

That means the Committee cannot accept a donation. Council Member Ernest Crabtree said that’s what they’re trying to figure out, because the Bicentennial Committee has to be able to accept donations.

“We made a motion that if there way any money left over from the $10,000 it would be put back into the park,” Council member Melissa Shull said.

However, Wilson said the motion council made months ago said the money would go back into the General Fund and that it would be a set limit of $10,000.

Michael questioned, “I thought that the $10,000 was what the village was willing to donate and anybody could donate on top of that?”

But Wilson said, “It was specifically said $10,000, including donations.”

According to council, that is not what they wanted to do, but Wilson said for the system the village uses, she needs to know the maximum amount of money the fund can have and that council would have to clarify what they wanted.

Council argued they should not have to set a maximum amount, but Wilson noted it does need a maximum amount if it is going to be run through the village.

“Then you know what, I think they need to set up their own account,” Shull said.

Wilson said she said that originally, but the Bicentennial Committee was not interested. Crabtree suggested going through the village’s legal council and tabling the discussion.

Village Administrator Nelson McKeever brought to council’s attention that he has job positions out for a Public Works Maintenance and Operations opening. He added, he needs some one on staff as soon as possible.

Shull asked, “You don’t have the ability to hire somebody without council’s approval?”

McKeever confirmed he did, in fact, need council’s appointment.

“You have the same authority as the Mayor,” Wilson said. “The only thing the council will do is set their pay rates.”

Crabtree suggested moving the position to a part-time position, but McKeever countered, he believes it needs to be a full-time position to get a quality worker, and for that worker to have time to accomplish all of the projects on their plate.

Wilson asked McKeever about the Shanks Property that was supposed to be handed over to the village and demolished at the end of May, but the village has yet to receive the deed. Wilson asked what the hold up was. McKeever noted, he did not know.

Under old business, an independent contractor agreement was given to council to review. Shull asked if council needed to approve, but Wilson advised waiting for more information.

Next on the agenda was a needed response for a date change, regarding taxes, following a letter the village had received.

“If you read that letter, it’s based on the estimated quarterly tax,” Wilson said. “If you read the letter, our revenue will decrease changing this. You’re paying quarterly, just like a lot of people are, but that’s going to change if you don’t pay that. The money that we’re getting on a monthly basis is going to decrease greatly.”

“If you want to wait and pay your taxes on April 15 as the government says they’re due, you won’t be charged a fee,” Shull said. “Whatever state reps passed this, did an injustice to the communities. But all we need to do is say when this rule will take effect. For this year, if people paid their taxes by April 17, they shouldn’t face a penalty.”

“We just want our village citizens to pay by the tax date,” she continued. “If they pay by the tax date, we don’t want to penalize them. I think a lot of people thought that it was due then anyways. They didn’t think it was due at the end of the year.”

Looking for the council to set an effective date for the rule, Wilson suggested, “I think you should do 2017 tax filings.”

Shull, however, was worried about people who had paid past years.

“I don’t think you should change it in the middle of our budget year for the village right now,” Wilson said. “We already have projects going on.”

“I make a motion that for the tax filing year of 2017 and going forward, that if they pay by federal guidelines, there is no penalties or interest charged,” Shull said after much discussion.

Council approved the motion.

The next Camden Village Council meeting will be held on Thursday, June 15, at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH