Niles mayor details cuts in financial plan due Friday - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Niles mayor details cuts in financial plan due Friday

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NILES, Ohio -

The mayor of Niles must present his latest financial plan to the state auditor Friday, mapping out where the city must make cuts to stay out of the red next year.

Mayor Thomas Scarnecchia tells 21 News he's already crossing items off department wish lists this year. 

"We're cutting out a fire engine, we're cutting some police cars, we have to cut where ever we can in the general fund," Scarnecchia said.

He promises manpower for police and fire will remain intact after voters approved an income tax levy in May.

"All we're doing is cutting, cutting and cutting," Scarnecchia said. "Hopefully we'll get more money, we don't know what we're going to do."

The city's fire chief says he's dealing with an aging fleet of fire engines and he's concerned it could cost taxpayers more down the road if engines aren't replaced in a timely manner.

"This was part of the five year plan that we submitted earlier this year and it gets a little frustrating that if you're trying to move forward, then let's move forward," Chief David Danielson said.

Danielson says he's in the process of hiring six additional firefighters under the SAFER grant. Danielson says he has the manpower he needs for the next two years, but he worries about the equipment they'll be working with. 

At the main fire station, the newest fire engine is almost 17 years old, and the two others are from the late 80's and 90's. 

Scarnecchia says more tough decisions have to be made. He tells 21 News the city can't afford to re-open and operate its pool in 2018 or fund the operation of the Mayor Ralph Infante Wellness Center.

"One thing we would like to try, go out for bid, maybe lease it," Scarnecchia said.

He says new sources of revenue is the only way to grow the general fund. Scarnecchia joins leaders across the county who say they're not yet certain how much the elimination of GM Lordstown's third shift could affect income tax collections.

Scarnecchia is asking anyone in the community with ideas to help as he moves forward with plans for the city to partner with the Regional Chamber in 2017.

Making cuts to city departments, including the tax department, is another option Scarnecchia is considering. He doesn't plan on looking into those options until possibly next year.
 

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