$653,000 in Potential Savings Identified at the City of Martins Ferry

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Columbus – More than $650,000 could be saved each year in the City of Martins Ferry’s (Belmont County) water and public safety departments, according to a performance audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.

“When times are tough, every dollar counts,” Auditor Yost said. “These recommendations offer Martins Ferry a path to greater financial stability.” 

The City of Martins Ferry requested this performance audit as a result of a negative balance in the water fund and a projected negative fund balance in the general fund. The performance audit reviewed the operations of the city’s water department and the public safety departments. 

Auditors determined the water department is staffed inefficiently in relation to peer averages and the American Water Works Association median benchmark. Martins Ferry employees treat 24 percent fewer million gallons daily than its peers, but has more than double the number of employees per 1,000 residents and less than half the accounts per employee. Eliminating nine water treatment positions would align the city with peer averages, resulting in savings of $493,800 annually. 

Additional recommendations from the performance audit include:

•Eliminating 2.8 part-time auxiliary police officers to bring the department’s staffing level in line with peers, resulting in annual savings of $87,700;

•Eliminating one utility billing position, resulting in annual savings of $46,800; and

•Reducing overtime through the use of additional part-time staff within the Emergency Medical Service operations, resulting in annual savings of $24,700.

A full copy of this report may be accessed online.



The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,800 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.