State accounting error caused overpayment

Last updated: July 25. 2014 10:47AM - 468 Views
By Kevin Dye Contributing writer

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A 2013 state agency accounting error now has the Village of West Jefferson returning a large sum of money back to the state of Ohio that was tied to the Main Street Enhancement Project.

Village council approved an ordinance Monday night that authorizes a supplemental appropriation in the general fund in the amount of $70,176 in order to refund the overpayment back to the Ohio Department of Transportation.

In 2013, the village received a refund of $165,176 from ODOT as part of the finalization and reconciliation of the Main Street Enhancement Project, which was completed in the fall of 2011. The $2 million project included the leveling and resurfacing of Main Street, new sidewalks with curbs and brick pavers, new mast arm traffic signal poles, new street lighting and reconstruction to the storm system.

Recently, the village received a bill from ODOT for $70,176 for what was called an overpayment. Mayor Darlene Steele said ODOT representatives met with village officials to explain the bill, as well as show documentation of the overpayment.

“Several months ago ODOT sent us a check for $165,176 and afterwards they realized they overpaid us and sent us a bill,” Steele said. “We had a meeting with ODOT and they were able to show us where they had overpaid us, so council had to approve paying the money back. We didn’t know how much we were getting back from the project. It’s very complicated, but they were able to demonstrate to us the overpayment.”

Council also approved two appointments Monday night. An ordinance was passed that appoints Finance Director Jack Herrel to the position of clerk of council, replacing current clerk of council Debbie DiLeo, who is also the assistant finance director.

DiLeo had been temporarily filling in the position since October 2013 after Emilia Jackson resigned to take a position with the Ohio Department of Aging.

A resolution was also passed that confirms Steele’s appointment of Ron Parsons as village law director and Michael Murray as assistant village law director. The resolutions approves the appointments retroactively to Jan. 2, 2013 through Jan. 1, 2015.

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