Council approves city budget for 2013

by Mike Lesko | reporter Published:

Streetsboro -- City Council approved the city's $24.977 million budget for 2013 at its Feb. 11 meeting by a 5-2 vote.

"I'm happy," Mayor Glenn Broska said. "It was a tenuous process. We can move on now."

Voting "no" were Council President Tim Claypoole and Council member Julie Field, chair of Council's finance committee.

"The deficit spending was too high," Claypoole said. "It seemed to be too high for my comfort level."

"I'm glad the budget moved forward," Field said. "The reason I said no was, I'm going to stick with how I believe about the spending in our city, and [I want to] make sure we're cautious."

The deadline for approving the budget was March 31.

Approving the budget required some compromise.

The budget proposed by Broska in December was based on a forecast that income tax revenue would increase by 4 percent in 2013, while some Council members, including Claypoole, believed the increase would be closer to 3 percent.

At the Jan. 7 Council meeting, Councilman Chuck Kocisko suggested a compromise projection of 3.5 percent, meaning a forecast that income tax revenue would increase by 3.5 percent in 2013. Most of Council agreed.

Claypoole, though, said he preferred to go with 3 percent.

"Three percent is a reasonable number," Claypoole said. "You can increase spending [later on], but it's harder to decrease spending."

Broska said he believes 3.5 percent is "a very conservative number."

According to Michalec, the city anticipates receiving $8.677 million at a 3.5 percent increase over last year's actual income tax collections of $8.384 million in the general fund.

Michalec said every .5 percent increase adds up to about $107,000, and he said he anticipates the city could receive as much as 6 percent more in income tax revenue in 2013 than during 2012.

The budget approved Feb. 11 has a general fund revenue of about $11.47 million, Michalec said, and expenditures of about $11.9 million, a difference of about $430,000. Michalec said an increase of 6 percent in income tax revenue would more than cover the $430,000.

Broska said a 6 percent increase is "attainable."

"We budgeted conservatively," Broska said.

Michalec added, "We appropriated high, but we [typically] spend less."

The city also has a $2.25 million carry over from 2012, according Michalec.

The budget, which was revised Jan. 8, contains about $265,000 in spending cuts from the budget originally presented in December, Michalec said.

In addition, another $73,000 in appropriations cuts were made by Council Jan. 28, bring the total of appropriations reductions since December to about $338,000, according to Michalec.

"After reviewing the budget, line by line, the mayor and I made very aggressive cuts from each of the listed departments in order to ensure passage of the budget by Council," said Michalec.

Michalec said the cuts include:

• Police department: $11,600 cut from the original budget, including cuts to training, drug clean-up services, equipment rental and K-9 support, with the majority coming from the latter category, he said.

• Fire department: $88,200 in appropriations cut from the original budget from various categories, with $57,000 coming from part-time firefighters' wages, $1,100 from associated Medicare costs and $8,200 from associated PERS retirement funds. Other line item cuts included schooling, ambulance billing services, contractual services, travel, materials and supplies, and EMS parts and supplies, among others.

• Senior center: $500 cut from program materials and supplies.

• Planning department: $7,675 cut, of which $5,875 came from special fees and dues.

• Engineering: $400 cut from vehicle contractual repairs and equipment.

• Service: $14,750 in cuts, the majority of which came from consulting services, contractual services, building contractual services, and materials and supplies.

• Mayor's office: $2,500 in cuts coming from the schooling and contractual services line items.

• Finance department: $1,700 in cuts coming from schooling, postage, and materials and supplies.

• Law department: $5,750 in cuts, $5,000 of which came from the legal services line item.

• Human resources: $1,100 in cuts coming from special fees and dues, materials and supplies, and equipment.

• Civil Service: $4,750 in cuts, the majority of which came from the legal services and legal advertisements line items.

• Network department: $15,200 in cuts, of which $13,900 came from contractual services and $1,300 from the data processing line items.

• Statutory: $110,600 in cuts from various line items including $21,600 from contractual services, $10,000 from special fees/dues, $12,000 from building utilities, $12,500 from gasoline and fuel, and $21,500 from equipment.

On Jan. 28, Council approved another $73,000 in cuts in spending from the proposed budget, according to Michalec, which included:

• Phone services: Cut by about $10,000.

• Vehicle parts and supplies: Cut by about $25,300.

• Contractual services, planning department: Cut by about $25,000.

• Contractual services, networking department: Cut by about $13,000.

Not counting one-time land acquisitions, Michalec said the 2013 proposed budget contains about $331,000 more in appropriations than the 2012 budget.

Email: mlesko@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9439

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