While some state and local governments are facing budget deficits, Plain Township will work in the new year to maintain services and a positive balance.

While some state and local governments are facing budget deficits, Plain Township will work in the new year to maintain services and a positive balance.

Plain Township trustees will concentrate on current operations to find efficiencies and ways to save money in the new year.

Trustee Bud Zappitelli said the current economy, which has several local governments looking at deficit spending, wouldn't affect services provided by the township.

"The message we need to get out there is, the local government will act prudently with funds," Zappitelli said. "There will be no cutbacks on services. The social economic maladies will ultimately have an impact here. I just hope as a community we can come together and help our neighbors in need."

Trustee Dave Ferguson agreed.

"I think we have a number of goals and objectives," he said. "The first is to ensure the township operations are fiscally conservative and within the budget. I want to make sure the residents are getting a good value."

With an uncertain economic future, trustees are breathing a sigh of relief after the passage of a 2.5-mill operating levy for the fire department in 2008 but said they'll keep an eye on it.

"The fire department got the levy passed so we're in pretty good shape for the next few years," trustee Don Shoemaker said.

Both Ferguson and Shoemaker said the township also would work on finding efficiencies in managing the pool this year.

"We're looking at different management companies (for the pool)," Shoemaker said. "This is not a win-win situation for us. We make money, but by the time we pay the mortgage, we don't make any money."

Ferguson said he wanted to look into ways to save money on pool maintenance.

"I want to continue to improve pool operations by improving maintenance costs," he said.

Maplewood Cemetery on Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road also could see some improvements in the new year.

Ferguson said roads and the entryway for the cemetery need improvements.

"I'm not going to spend a lot of money on it, but when you drive by at night, you can't even see the entry way," Shoemaker said.

Although continuing to align the township with the Rocky Fork-Blacklick Accord is on Ferguson's list, he said he also wants to continue working with surrounding entities to ensure a good community.

"I want to make sure the township is working to achieve collaboration with other partners," Ferguson said. "We have first-class schools, and we need to reduce the residential build-out and make sure we're providing a good value for residents in services and amenities."

Shoemaker said he wants to focus on the schools and its space need in the council of governments.

"A lack of classrooms, it's a community problem. It's not just the school district's problem or the village's problem. It's everyone's problem," he said. "The school has an impact on all of us, and that's what's most critical right now."

tstubbs@thisweeknews.com