STEUBENVILLE - Second Ward City Councilman Rick Perkins urged his colleagues to "play small ball" when looking at the city's future financial situation.
"I am starting to see a few vacant houses in the city occupied again by oil and gas industry workers. We may not be hitting a home run these days, but singles count too. I don't want to leave any money on the table. If these workers are living in Steubenville, we need to make sure we are collecting city income tax from them," Perkins remarked during a council finance committee meeting Tuesday night.
"We are not going to see a major steel mill or a Toyota plant built here. But every dollar brought here will benefit the city," Perkins added.
City Manager Cathy Davison said she will ask 911 Emergency Center Director Rob Herrington for a list of oil and gas companies with operations in Jefferson County.
"They can provide us with a list of companies and we can then ask those companies to work with the city in collecting the city income tax from workers living in the city," Davison told council members.
Council met for an hour Tuesday prior to the sunshine meeting for a monthly review of the city's finances.
Sixth Ward Councilman David Lalich asked how the future Lovers Lane project will impact the city's finances.
"Right now that is so far into the future we don't know the exact split we will be expected to pay. If we proceed with the roundabout plan it will be paid for with federal funds. But we are waiting for the Brooke-Hancock-Jefferson Metropolitan Planning Commission to look at the different scenarios for that project," said Davison.
Lalich also asked about delinquent water bills and was told collections are up slightly.
"We will be meeting in the next several days with the collection agency to discuss the collection process and how it can be improved," reported Finance Director Alyssa Kerker.
"I have noticed a lot of water shut-off notices. Are those customers paying to have their water turned back on?" asked Councilman at large Kenny Davis.
"A majority of customers who have their water shut off because of past due bills are coming in, paying the $50 reconnect fee and their delinquent water bills to have their water restored," replied Kerker.
During the brief sunshine meeting, 3rd Ward Councilman Greg Metcalf introduced legislation authorizing the expansion of the Steel Valley Regional Transit Authority to include Wintersville as a third community partner.
The ordinance will be considered at three separate readings.
The Mingo Junction and Wintersville councils already approved similar language.
And Lalich proposed an ordinance to change the name of the city's FEMA fund to to the Emergency Management fund. That ordinance also will be read at three different meetings.