Halfway through the year, the village of Sunbury is ahead of where it expected to be on general fund operating revenue and might now finish the year without a deficit, leaders say.

Halfway through the year, the village of Sunbury is ahead of where it expected to be on general fund operating revenue and might now finish the year without a deficit, leaders say.

Fiscal Officer Kathy Belcher told council members during a finance committee meeting Wednesday, July 18, that she had expected a $153,000 deficit in operating money at the end of June. Instead, the village stands about $160,000 in the black.

Belcher said after the committee meeting that increased income tax revenues and less spending by the village are the primary reasons the general fund is running above expectations.

"If we can break even (for the year), I will be so happy," she said.

Projections at the beginning of the year estimated a deficit of more than $300,000 in the nearly $2.3 million operating budget. As of June 30, revenues stand at $1,375,888 and expenses at $1,215,731.

Those figures do not include general fund, non-operating revenues and expenses, such as loans and bonds.

Also at the July 18 meeting, Mayor Tommy Hatfield told the six council members he hopes to have the metal standing seam roof at Village Hall replaced by the end of the year and the vacant water plant at Otis and Sedgwick streets razed.

Informal estimates earlier this year for putting a new roof on the historic, three-story brick Village Hall ranged from $39,790 to $45,000. Hatfield said he thinks money from the village lottery fund, which has about $780,000 in it, could be used for the project.

"We don't have the budget, year-in and year-out, to keep this building the way it should be," he said during a break of council's regular session July 18.

The building's windows also need to be replaced and could be done this year, too, Hatfield said, though he did not have a cost estimate for the project.

Tearing down the old water plant, which closed about nine years ago when the village began using Del-Co's services, could cost about $25,000, he said.

One benefit of demolition is that the village could put in a parking lot for people who fish or use the two nearby reservoirs, making access easier.

Council action would be required for both of the projects.

Also during last week's meeting:

* Village Administrator Dave Martin told council members the 54,000-pound Canadian granite base boulder on which a statue of Gen. William S. Rosecrans will stand will be put in place Wednesday, July 25, on the Village Square.

A 13-foot-tall, 3,000-pound statue of Rosecrans astride his horse will stand on the boulder. The Rosecrans headquarters, a committee of the Big Walnut Area Historical Society, has been raising funds for the $198,000 project.

Rosecrans, a Civil War general, is a native of Sunbury.

* Martin also told council members he is meeting with representatives of Volunteer Energy and Border Energy, who will help the village with the process of being certified as a utility aggregator by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. That process can take three to six months.

The village wants to contract for lower rates with suppliers of natural gas and electricity. Volunteer Energy is helping with the natural gas certification process while Border Energy is assisting on electricity.

Working with these two companies does not mean they will be the ones that get contracts with the village, Martin has said. However, they were the two favored by Village Council during presentations made last month. The village hopes to contract for the utilities by next year.

Residents and local businesses do not have to sign up with any companies selected by the village. They can keep their current suppliers or pick someone else.

* Janet Metzler of the village's Tree and Landscape Commission told council that the commission has scheduled a fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 28. The fundraiser will be held in the parking lot of the Ace Hardware store on the Village Square. Hot dogs and soft drinks will be available for a donation.

Money raised will be used to help with tree replacement and other beautification projects in the village, Metzler said.