Volunteers step up in Mingo Junction
In a blink of the eye, many more local governments could be in the same boat as Mingo Junction.
The village lost its biggest employer in the steel mill, and, as a result, lost the more than two-thirds of its income tax revenue. On top of that, the village is receiving about 50 percent less in local government funding from the state.
Mingo Junction had to lay off village employees. The service department once had about 12 part- and full-time workers. Now it is down to five.
Unfortunately, the amount of work those five service department workers must do hasn’t decreased.
The reality is the service department workers can’t do the same amount of work that was done when the village had the revenue.
Potholes aren’t being patched as often, and the grass around the village, including the cemetery, isn’t being cut on a regular basis.
Village residents, including members of the Mingo Junction Revitalization Committee, have been volunteering to spruce up the town, including cutting grass at the cemetery.
That is the kind of spirit that is missing from many communities.
But there are others in the village who haven’t faced the reality of a much leaner government in Mingo Junction.
The village is struggling to keep its head above water and not go into financial emergency and under control of the state auditor’s office.
The smaller budget is holding its own for now but some good economic development news for the village is desperately needed.
Village Council must work diligently to stay on top of the budget and allocate resources in the best manner possible. Residents also have to be patient.
It is up to village residents to pitch in. Sitting back and complaining won’t solve any of the problems.
Other communities also are facing tough times financially with budgets, and, hopefully, Jefferson County as a whole will someday see better economic times with the gas and oil industry. The county desperately needs large employers to locate in the county.
Volunteerism by residents will help somewhat. The Mingo Junction Revitalization Committee is doing a great job at working on projects in the village. Their efforts are making a dent in the appearance of the community.
But others need to pitch in to help in Mingo Junction and in other areas of the county.