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City of Wellston Released from Fiscal Emergency After Almost 8 Years
Columbus – Auditor of State Dave Yost today announced that the City of Wellston (Jackson County) has achieved financial stability after spending nearly eight years in fiscal emergency.
“The path was strenuous, but today the city has finally arrived at a point of financial stability,” Auditor Yost said. “I congratulate the community and its leaders for their success and encourage them to keep moving forward toward even healthier finances.”
The city was assigned the fiscal distress designation on Oct. 1, 2009, after the Auditor’s office identified treasury deficits that exceeded one-sixth of treasury receipts by $588,915 and $623,915 as of Dec. 31, 2008, and June 30, 2009, respectively.
Since then, the city has generated almost $6.4 million in savings by adjusting staffing levels and employee benefits, and by eliminating about half of the city’s streetlights.
The community of roughly 5,660 people also passed three levies that enabled fire, cemetery and street operations to continue, while also eliminating deficits in those funds.
A 1 mill fire levy passed in 2012 has generated approximately $59,000 per year, and will continue to do so through the end of this year. Voters passed a 1 mill cemetery levy the following year that will yield $59,000 annually through 2018. A 2 mill street levy passed in 2014 will generate an additional $119,000 per year through 2019.
The city also had to satisfy the following requirements to be terminated from fiscal emergency:
- Adopted and implemented an effective financial accounting and reporting system;
- Corrected or eliminated all of the fiscal emergency conditions; no new conditions have occurred, and it appears that, based on the five-year forecast, the city will remain out of fiscal emergency during the forecast period,
- Met the major objectives of the financial recovery plan; and
- Prepared a five-year forecast in accordance with standards issued by the Auditor of State, and the opinion expressed by the Auditor of State is “nonadverse.”
A full copy of this fiscal emergency termination is available online.
Click here to view the city’s preliminary Financial Health Indicators report for 2016.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 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.