GIRARD - After starting the year with a $600,000 deficit in the water fund Councilman-at-large Brian Kren, said Monday the fund should see a 25 percent reduction in the deficit by month's end.
Kren, utility committee chairman, credits water rate increases and the city administration's cracking down on delinquent water bill collections.
''The administration has done their job in dealing with this deficit,'' he said.
Council in February requested a state performance audit of the department's finances after the deficit had grown from about $150,000 in September 2007 to more than $600,000 by the end of 2008.
According to the state oversite commission, the deficit was due partly to inaccurate readings of customer usage.
Officials have said at prior meetings that the deficit is due in part to the city's paying $238,000 a year from the water department fund for its purchase of the Girard Lakes; its loss of an estimated $250,000 in water and sewer receipts after Girard aluminum plant Indalex was idled in 2008; and the Mahoning Valley Sanitary District's raising its prices to the city in July 2007.
In a related matter, council voted on the recommendation of Councilman Michael Costarella to prepare legislation to form a citizens committee to review the water fund's finances.
The legislation was originally passed 6-1 in March, with Mayor James Melfi vetoing it.
Law Director Mark Standohar said the current legislation needed to be redone for proper legal terminology and citation.
l Approved employing up to 10 summer seasonal workers for the parks and water meter reading at minimum wage;
l Approved refinancing the loan for the state Route 422 widening project after finding a better rate.