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August 15, 2020

4/22/2020 2:09:00 PM
Mayor wants to hire unemployed

While the NVRC approved purchasing safety items for businesses, another idea to help was not immediately embraced.

Mayor Mike Ochs said he wants to assist residents who are unemployed. His idea is to hire people who are laid off to do various jobs in the city, such as mowing lawns, working at the golf course, painting curbs and various other jobs.

$250,000 could be available for this program if the NVRC chose to make the full bond payment for Tripton Park and the new water facility at the NV City Park. The $500,000 payment, which is shared equally by the NVRC and city treasury, is due in August.

However, several issues arose which questioned how wise this idea was.

First, Clerk-Treasurer Shawn Gerkin pointed out there is "a potential problem" with financing this sugestion because the state has extended the property tax payment deadline to July 10 and it is anticipated a lot of people and industry will wait to pay taxes. If that happens, the state's property tax distribution to the NVRC would be delayed. Since the Commission is totally funded from property taxes and its financial obligations would still come due, the NVRC "could be looking at borrowing money to get us through."

Gerkin said the NVRC's current balance is about $3 million, "the lowest I've seen in nine years." While he said he didn't want "to put anyone in a panic mode," he recommended the board members "take a cautious approach to promising money at this time."

There is also the question of paying people to do work city employees normally do (such as mowing and painting curbs) while city workers are only working half a day now out of concern for their health during the pandemic.

Board member Larry Wasson opined, "There is no real plan. It's too open-ended. I think we can get jail workers to work at the golf course. I don't think it's necessary to take money from the Redevelopment Commis-sion to pay for that."

Questions were also raised on how the program would be managed, job descriptions, etc.

Members agreed to table the discussion and agreed with an idea from Councilor Jack Kelley, who suggested the mayor "get a committee together" to look into his idea further and nail down more details.

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