THE CITY of Martins Ferry is like almost every other community in Eastern Ohio in regards to its financial status. That being it is a constant battle to make revenue and expenditures balance out.
Martins Ferry's Finance Committee held a meeting Monday night to get its budget in line prior to the mandated submission date to the county auditor by March 30. The session was a fruitful one, although some work remains to be done.
What appeared as major obstacles has been whittled down to basically $30,000. While that sum may still prove problematic, it is definitely a manageable one.
Much of the finance committee's focus centered on two specific positions. Those being code administrator and development director. Both posts carry price tags exceeding $40,000, which may seem to some as burdensome to balancing the budget.
We believe, however, both the code administrator and development director will play key roles if Martins Ferry is to continue experiencing a renaissance. While the city is encountering some financial issues, we view that as a short-term speed bump.
Martins Ferry has experienced much recent growth, and appears positioned to realize the benefits of the oil and gas industry. The Purple City has been proactive in tapping into the shale industry.
So it makes good sense to keep both of the aforementioned positions in question. The code administrator has made her presence felt with the razing of many dilapidated structures. More are targeted to come down, making the city appealing to oil and gas workers looking to relocate.
The development director position is a must for any community that has vision and seeks to advance to the next level. Given time, a development director will pay for their salary many times over.
We believe Martins Ferry is a city moving in the right direction. The finance committee made the correct decision in keeping two positions that will afford the city continued growth.