LIKE MANY small communities in Eastern Ohio, Rayland has experienced its share of financial challenges. Unlike many, however, the Jefferson County village has experienced a "remarkable turnaround."
That positive dose of good news was delivered at this week's village council meeting by two Rayland officials. The community's finances and infrastructure are in the best shape they have been in many years.
Fiscal Officer Rick Soos and Administrator Rich Bibbo outlined the village's advancements.
Soos indicated all of Rayland's funds --save one -- are in the black. The sewer fund is still in the red but made nearly $9,000 improvement in 2013 and "is on its way, albeit slowly, toward the positive."
Bibbo notes that 2013 as "one of the better years, if not the best year, for the village of Rayland in the last decade." He mentioned the repairing and sealing of the Mazeroski Park walking track and basketball court as a result of a Jefferson County recreation grant and major donations of labor and material from Black Diamond Paving.
All that is refreshing news, as all too often we hear of how our local communities are experiencing unmanageable fiscal problems.
The turnaround is attributed to a collection of factors.
Village residents agreed to pay a streetlight fee while a reduced fire service contract was put in place. Moreover, Solicitor Joe Vavra went to court and successfully had money transferred from dormant funds to the general fund and that a significant cost savings had been realized from the police department's reduced working hours.
Soos also noted that all village departments had a hand in the renaissance. That speaks volumes for the teamwork and cooperation that obviously resides in Rayland.
We commend Rayland for its success story.
The once financially strapped village obviously has adept leadership. Rayland has placed itself on a path to a much brighter future thanks to officials who have a clear vision of what it takes to script a successful game plan, the willingness to work together to make it come to fruition and countless residents who buy into it.