CAMDEN — The Village of Camden Council passed the first reading of its 2018 budget during a meeting on Thursday, Nov. 2.
During that discussion, funds for the Town Hall and renovation plans for Phase II were debated.
During roll call, council member Ernest Crabtree requested a discussion be held for the loan on the Town Hall. Out of the original $600,000 only $22,000 is left for Phase II.
“We’re approved for Phase II financing, just to tie this all together,” council member Kelly Doran explained. “First Financial is poised to finance Phase II upstairs. What we need to do now is get the numbers from the architect. We have to get our numbers together, we’re pre-approved already. We just need to get our numbers and see where we are.
“We had to put something in the budget as a frame work. Maybe it is too much, maybe it is not enough, I don’t know. We need to move on with finishing Phase II and get this thing generating some money. Where we are now, if we don’t finish we will not generate cash-flow to cover the mortgage.
“That is what the intent was in the beginning. If you finish it, you will generate enough money to off-set, if not pay for, what it is costing on a monthly basis. We’ve become a duplex: we live on the first floor and rent the second floor. They pay our bills.”
Crabtree commented, “I’m not saying I’m against it, I’m just saying that we need to keep better reigns on it this time around. I would like to have more say in it.”
“I’m not arguing with that. When it is all said and done, I question some things that were done,” Doran responded. “When it is all said and done, I can’t really argue with the results. They did a marvelous job and stayed on target. This will be the hub of the community. It might take a year or two to get going, but this thing will go.”
In other village news, a part-time officer was promoted from auxiliary to part-time. The change came when a part-time officer left the police station for a full-time position with the City of Eaton Police Department.
“We lost a part-time officer when he took a position with the City of Eaton,” council member Judy Michael explained. “Officer Clarence Brown will replace that role and start at $11 per hour. That will be effective on Nov. 11.”
Council member Kelly Doran noted, “I think it is embarrassing that we are paying someone $11 per hour.”
According to Rusty Wilson’s administrative report:
•The plumbing for the utility room at the water plant has been completed. Electric has also been completed.
•Leaf pickup will continue until all the leaves are collected.
•The Ford truck broke down and it took $300 to fix it.
•The department purchased materials for the storage room in the Town Hall. It should be completed soon.
Wilson added, a new generator is needed for the water department. According to Doran, Wilson had to use his personal generator. The new generator would be $2,400.
Wilson also requested coats for village workers, so they are still in uniform during the winter. Council approved his request with the same motion which approved the new generator.
The village’s current lawnmower is currently 11 years old and, according to Wilson, has serious wear-and-tear. He was able to find one with $2,500 off the original price.
Doran explained, “Just so people understand. What we are appropriating these dollars for are what we appropriated in 2016, for 2017 budget. There is money in different line items that wasn’t used. We are not affecting what we are appropriating in anyway, other than it being there to be used.
“We’ll have a new truck and a new mower. Those are two things we will not have to purchase for 10 years.”
The Village of Camden meets ever first and third Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall council room.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH