Many municipalities have been utilizing the recently introduced MOST Grant (Municipal Operating Support Transfer fund).
At first, the Village of Youngstown did not see the use as it had specific terms that they felt would not help them specifically but since that point, they have found new and exciting ways to put these funds to use.
One way includes purchasing a couple of laptops and a tablet.
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Emma Garlock and Public Works Foreman James Mabley have been attending a few virtual meetings on behalf of the village using their personal laptops.
The village computer also doesn’t have a working microphone or camera for interactive meetings which can be a barrier.
The tablet mentioned is for asset management.
They can range from $1,130 to $3,800.
The MOST grant can help provide new units as it pertains to anything disrupted due to COVID-19 meaning the village can purchase new laptops as they would attend those meetings in person under normal circumstances.
“We should use this money if we can do it,” said Mayor Robert Blagen.
CAO Garlock noted the importance of buying locally, hoping to acquire prices from a couple of tech stores in Hanna to figure out their best options before moving forward.
Village assessment increases
CAO Garlock shared some interesting news during the regular council meeting on Tues. Dec. 1.
She shared a few numbers with council on the village’s assessments and how it has been over the past six years for fun.
From 2015 to 2020, their assessment has increased by $367,780 which doesn’t even include three new buildings.
The fresh coffee shop on Main Street will also add to this as well as the auto services now available in the car wash building.
In 2015, the assessment overall was $9,127,440 while this year it was $9,495,220.
CAO Garlock noted there was a dip of $50,000 between 2016 and 2017 but then picked up after that.
“That’s a good sign for a little town,” said Coun. Ken Johnson.
Late water bills
CAO Garlock mentioned there are two people with water bills that are well past due.
She asked council how to proceed as the one person sits at three bills worth $464 and the other at four bills worth $761.
Council asked if they had been sent a letter warning them of this and the repercussions which Garlock did say yes, saying their public works foreman knows one of them.
They requested he talk to them first before the water is turned off.
With COVID-19, the decision was made to have the public skating rink closed for the season but Coun. Johnson suggested they create an outdoor rink by the curling rink or parking lot of the hall.
This would allow the public to have access while not having to worry about supervision as much as if it were at the indoor rink.