Niles Council approves latest financial recovery plan - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Niles Council approves latest financial recovery plan

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NILES, Ohio -

Niles City Council has approved the administration's latest plan to get the city out of fiscal emergency. The plan will now be presented to the fiscal commission that oversees the city's spending on Wednesday.

The vote by council came quickly Tuesday night, but only after the plan went through three full readings. Ultimately, council approved the plan in a 4-2 vote. One councilman, Steve Papalas, was absent.

"This isn't the plan that we're going to end and emerge from fiscal emergency from but we are on track, we are improving and I believe the plan as it stands will continue to move us in the right direction," said Councilman and Finance Chairman Barry Steffey.

But, not every council member supported the plan. Frank Pezzano and Ryan McNaughton voted against the plan. Pezzano didn't want to comment after the meeting. McNaughton expressed to the media his reasoning.

"I don't see anything with the wellness (center) plan, it's two months later now and I need to see something more with the street repair project," said McNaughton. "I'm at the point I can't take anymore short term vision, I need to see some long term vision."

The plan is the sixth one city council will present to the fiscal commission. Council members say they expect another revised plan in the near future after the city learns how much repairs to several city buildings could cost.

"In taking with the state auditors it's not such an uncommon thing to amend the plan as you go, something that may be under-performing can be removed, something that pops up can be added in," said Steffey.

One reason for the latest revision comes after plans to lease the Niles Wellness Center fell through.

Despite cutting expenses and increasing revenue, city leaders say the center still carries $130-thousand deficit for 2017.

"We're looking for ways to improve our income and not drain it and the wellness center is a drain right now," said Councilman At Large Mike Lastic. "We have to do something to address this in the very near future."

The Fiscal Commission will have the final say on the plan. A vote is expected Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Mayor Scarnecchia was not in attendance at the meeting. He told 21 News he had fallen and was briefly in the hospital. He says he will be back in the office Wednesday.

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