Mingo fund transfer on hold

STEUBENVILLE – A Jefferson County Common Pleas Court hearing on Monday to allow Mingo Junction to transfer $362,999 out of the complex fund into the general fund was continued by Judge David Henderson after three members of the former administration said they plan to file objections.

Village Solicitor Ernest Wilson had filed a case in common pleas court to allow the transfer. Wilson told Henderson there was was no need for the fund since any project earmarked for money had been completed. The village used money from the fund to build the splash pad at Aracoma Park,

Council in February approved the ordinance authorizing Wilson to make the application in court. Council also discussed only using the money for emergency purposes.

Money for the community complex comes from a percentage of the village’s income tax.

Henderson said the village had properly advertised the hearing on the transfer of the money, but former Mayor Domenic Chappano stood up during the hearing saying the residents had approved the income tax and how the money was earmarked. Chappano said he didn’t file an objection as required by public notice concerning the hearing.

Vicky Peckins, a former member of council, told Henderson she didn’t believe the current village administration followed proper notification of the hearing. Peckins was sitting next to Judy Ruckman, another former member of council.

Henderson said the hearing will be continued one week to allow anyone to file an objection.

Current members of the village administration at the hearing were Councilmen John Fabian and Chuck Dickey and village Clerk John Angelica. Police Chief Steve Maguschak, who is temporarily filling in as village administrator, also was at the hearing.

Fabian said after the brief hearing Monday that the financially-strapped village needed to have the money in the event of an emergency.

“The money needs to be available. If we don’t have the money, we are stuck,” Fabian said.