Newcomerstown, Ohio - Newcomerstown officials are looking at a bright financial outlook as the village continues to rebound from a fiscal emergency.
Fiscal Officer Lisa Stiteler says Newcomerstown has come a long way in terms of finances since she first came on board in the spring of 2014, a little less than two years after the state auditor issued the emergency status.
“I would say it was baby steps from the beginning because when I first started we were still in fiscal emergency, so we were kind of limited on what we could do with our money because we were in fiscal emergency,” she explains.
Mayor Pat Cadle says Stiteler's guidance helped them overcome the situation and increase their fund balances by more than $2.5 million over the last five years.
“I think the biggest thing that Lisa brought to it also was we went on a budget and we stayed within it. I know that was a problem and that’s part of why we got into fiscal emergency, but everything’s planned out now,” he says.
Stiteler says one of the biggest factors in the recovery was the village moving its money to a Century Bank money market account with a higher interest rate. She says this is something they couldn’t do until the village was released from emergency status.
“Moving our money to Century to get the interest, that was a huge thing, but when I first started here I talked to other banks and we couldn’t switch banks because we were in fiscal emergency,” she says. “The first goal was to get us out of fiscal emergency, and then get our money moved.”
That account generated over $76,000 in 2018, and that’s expected to increase to around $100,000 this year. Stiteler says the move along with other cost-savings measures like rebidding their property and casualty insurance has them in good shape even with a 2 percent budget increase for 2019.
STACEY CARMANY, TUSCO TV