Marietta officials will be looking for more than $60,000 to cover a traditionally grant-funded position in the city law director's office through 2013, according to law director Paul Bertram III, who met with city council's employee relations committee Monday.
"We're trying to find funding to continue Timsi Pathak's position. She's been an assistant law director since 2011," Bertram said following Monday's meeting.
Pathak's job, working on domestic violence cases for the office, has been funded by a federal Violence Against Women grant administered through the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services.
But Bertram said the $60,000 grant did not come through for 2013.
"We have yet to understand why we lost that grant funding," he said. "The position is grant-funded through the end of this year, and we'll apply for the grant again in May."
In the meantime, Bertram said council finance committee chairman Tom Vukovic, D-4th Ward, has agreed to consider the use of general fund monies to keep Pathak's job in place through 2013.
"Without Timsi there to handle her caseload, the other two assistant law directors would have to take on an additional 540 cases each," Bertram said. "They won't be able to do that much, so I would also have to pick up more case work beyond my other duties."
He said the money to continue Pathak's salary is available in the general fund, although the expenditure will make the city budget a bit tighter next year.
In other business Monday, the finance committee continued work on the 2013 municipal budget.
Vukovic noted $275,000 had been budgeted for the city's share of a proposed traffic and pedestrian safety upgrade of the Pike, Greene and Seventh streets intersection. But he said council has not given the go-ahead for the project.
"We aren't in agreement on that intersection project at this time, but the money has already been set aside in the budget," he said. "Why are we appropriating that money? We're funding the project before we know if it's going to move forward."
City engineer Joe Tucker said although there are still questions about the proposed project, everyone he's talked with agrees some kind of improvement is needed at that intersection.
"I just want to have the funds allocated so that if the project does move ahead the money will be there," he said.
Councilman Harley Noland, D-at large, agreed.
"We're not funding the project, this is just holding the money in place in case we do decide to move forward," he said.
Tucker also noted the budget for street repair projects in 2013 was heavily leveraged with grant funding that could enable the city to do $5.4 million worth of projects and only spend $200,000 in local money, if the projects are approved by council.
The finance committee is scheduled to continue work today with a review of the projected general fund budget for 2013.