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Chesapeake approves budget to send auditor: Police, workers had been laid off temporarily

CHESAPEAKE — The village of Chesapeake’s council met in special session twice this week to address the matter of expenditures.

On Monday, Mayor Kim Oldaker called a meeting because the village’s fiscal officer had not filed Chesapeake’s budget with the Lawrence County Auditor Paul Knipp’s office in January.

Oldaker, who took office in January, said council member Paul Hart advised that, as a result, any expenditures may not be allowed as a result.

Oldaker said she then laid off the village’s police force and village workers on Tuesday until the matter was resolved.

Before a second session on Wednesday, she spoke with Knipp and deputy auditor Chris Klein, who she said told her that the village could approve their budget and turn it in, which council members voted to do on Wednesday. It was expected that the auditor would approve the budget and it would be sent back shortly. Oldaker said it was filed Wednesday night.

The mayor and council also agreed to bring those laid off back to work on Thursday.

The village has been without a fiscal officer since early January when the office became vacant with the resignation of Christine Nichols.

Oldaker said she hopes to have a new appointment confirmed at Monday’s meeting of council.

Hart said on Thursday night that he, council member Jim Smith and Oldaker had all spoken with the auditor who agreed to work with them on the matter of the budget.

While he acknowledged that Monday’s meeting of council was “heated,” he said things had cooled some by Wednesday and they were able to achieve a resolution.

He added that a village clerk was also now working, freeing police officers to do duties on the streets, rather than concentrate on clerical matters.

The council also discussed the matter of purchasing police cruisers at Monday’s meeting, but no action was taken.