ARCANUM – In an unanticipated legislative turn, the Arcanum Council passed a resolution on Tuesday returning surplus funds from the Garbage and Refuse Funds to the citizens of the village.
The funds were previously earmarked to purchase a replacement street sweeper, and the process took two years to reach this point.
Arcanum Council Member Monte Clark made the motion to return the funding from the Garbage and Refuse Fund, which totals around $112,000, just as the Finance Committee was ready to make their recommendation to purchase the new street sweeper in the amount of $126,000.
According to Arcanum officials, the topic of refunding the Garbage and Refuse Funds was not previously discussed prior to Tuesday’s meeting.
Now, despite the Service and Leisure Committee and Finance Committees previously planning on replacing the village’s faulty sweeper unit, the revenue which was counted upon is no longer available, and the council must devise a way to raise the funds for the project.
The motion to refund the Garbage and Refuse Fund was not supported unanimously, and passed via a 3-2 vote.
Initially Council Member Eric Van Hoose inquired about tabling the resolution, however after further thought he seconded the motion, while Council Member Jerry Boolman also voted in approval.
Council Members Julie Willis and Vanessa Delk voted in opposition to the resolution.
At the time of the legislation , the Arcanum Council did not establish a method to return the funds to residents, and the village’s Fiscal Officer and Village Solicitor were also unclear how this would be accomplished in the future.
“Do I agree that it’s a great idea to give the residents back their money? Most definitely. But there was no plan on the table on what was next,” said Council Member Julie Willis. “Until you have a set plan, you can’t just start giving money back.”
To offset the cost of the sweeper, the idea of a levy was proposed as an alternative to using Garbage and Refuse Funds, however no definite plans were made on Tuesday despite the resolution passing to divert the funds.
Arcanum Mayor Judith Foureman voiced her opposition to the plan as well, which came as a surprise after months of planning to purchase the street sweeper.
“When you’ve got the money in-hand and you can purchase (the street sweeper), I don’t understand why you would give the money back, run the fund dry, and then come back and ask for the money again,” said Mayor Foureman, referring to the possibility of a levy. “And then its not from everyone, its just from the homeowners.”
According to Mayor Foureman, the revenue to be refunded is estimated to pay for garbage and refuse services for the residents of Arcanum for for about six months.
Further details about how to refund the Garbage and Refuse Fund and how to raise revenue to purchase a street sweeper will be discussed during the next Arcanum Council Meeting.