Trustees refute state audit

Liberty Township

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Liberty Trustees are refuting a recent state audit of the township government that questions how long the community can remain viable.

The review of the books from 2011 showed trustees moved money between different departments to avoid cutting services or staff.

But since then officials insist they’ve been able to balance their budget, thanks to the elimination of the post office in the Administration Building and the closing of the township’s 9-1-1 center.

Trustees said on Wednesday they’re still looking for ways to streamline their operation.

“We’re just trying to continue services to our residents and we are doing a good job of that,” said trustee Jodi Soyak. “We’re not in fiscal emergency. We’re not in fiscal watch, and so we’re happy about that.”

Ever since taking office, Gov. John Kasich has urged local communities to consolidate services to help offset state budget cuts.

Trustees said they have been working to do that, but neighboring communities aren’t always that receptive.

A spokeswoman for the auditor’s office said the state would only encourage two communities merging services as a “last resort.”

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