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Published: Tuesday, 3/25/2008

Bonds at Toledo Municipal Court to aid city budget

More than a fifth of the $1.1 million in unclaimed funds Toledo officials last week said would be used to help balance the 2008 general operating fund budget is from bonds posted at Toledo Municipal Court, the city's finance director said yesterday.

John Sherburne's announcement of the account Thursday has created angst among some city councilmen, all of whom were unaware of its existence.

That money, which is in an uncashed-check fund, is planned for use along with 50 percent of a $982,000 surplus from 2007 to alleviate some of the Finkbeiner administration's proposed cuts to the city's criminal justice administration.

The other half of the surplus must be placed in the city's rainy-day fund.

More than $262,600 of the uncashed-check fund comes from the Toledo Municipal Court.

"The majority of the money comes from unclaimed money from vendors and some of it is even payroll," Mr. Sherburne said.

Mayor Carty Finkbeiner's budget proposal shows spending of $254,271,089, which is slightly more than a 2.7 percent increase over the 2007 figure. The budget assumes $253,271,089 in revenue during 2008.

A list of the vendors who did not cash checks from the city was not available yesterday.

Mr. Sherburne said in accessing the money, the city is complying with Ohio law, which states: "All money received or collected by a public official under color of office and not otherwise paid out according to law shall be paid into the treasury of the public office. If not claimed within five years, the money shall revert to the general fund of the public office."

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