MACEDONIA — Continued resurfacing of streets, a new aerial platform fire truck and a new police and fire dispatch system are among things that money will be available for in the city’s 2019 budget.
The finance committee met Nov. 29 to comb over the proposed 2019 appropriations, which show about $14.5 million in the general fund and nearly $28 million in all funds.
After the finance panel met, Council gave the budget a second reading at its regular meeting. Councilman and finance committee chairman Kevin Bilkie said another committee meeting could be scheduled to fine-tune the budget, and adoption could take place at Council’s Dec. 13 session.
At its Nov. 8 meeting, Council approved purchasing a Pierce Arrow XT 100-foot aerial truck from Finley Fire Equipment through the state governmental cooperative purchasing program at a cost of $1.3 million.
Fire Capt. Brian Ripley said the city has been looking at new trucks in recent months and had the opportunity to get a demo unit from Finley. The unit is being assembled at Pierce’s plant in McConnelsville, and Finley said it should be ready for delivery this spring.
By approving the deal now, Ripley said the city will save about $68,000, because the price would have gone up if Council had waited to finalize the deal. The truck is one item that city officials promised would be purchased if the 0.25 percent income tax increase passed Nov. 6, which it did.
Finance Director Rhonda Hall said the city is looking at financing the purchase over a 10-year period.
The city also plans to spend about $1.74 million on its road repaving program, which is being funded by a 0.25 percent income tax hike passed by voters in 2017. Thirty-three roads were repaved this year with that money.
An upgrade of the city’s dispatch system, which is mandated by the state, is expected to cost about $150,000.
Bilkie said city officials are working hard to finalize the 2019 budget, and he said he is satisfied with the numbers and plans for spending so far. "We’re still tweaking it, and any last-minute suggestions from Council are welcome," he said.
"The revenues available should be enough to handle our 2019 needs. As always, we just hope nothing unexpected comes up which would require major expenditures."
The safety services fund, where the new income tax money will go, is expected to yield $980,000 in 2019, but Hall said that should rise to about $1.3 million per year in the future.
Those funds will be used to bolster police, fire and service department services, including buying new vehicles and equipment and enhancing the workforce.
The budget shows a projected balance of $406,087 at the end of 2019, but Bilkie said that could end up being close to $1 million. There is a $500,000 emergency reserve amount plugged into the budget. Bilkie said the city eventually would like to build up the annual carryover to about $2 million.
In addition to the general fund, the city expects to have $6.85 million in special revenue funds, $1.5 million for debt service, $3.2 million for capital improvements and $889,209 in trust funds.
The $1.74 million to be spent on road repaving is included in capital improvements. Estimated resources in the road program actually are $2.9 million, with a projected 2019 year-end balance of $1.16 million.
Bilkie said that won’t leave a lot of money for other capital improvements. He said Council will determine the other capital improvement spending in early 2019.
Total estimated income tax revenue for 2019 is set at $11.18 million. Property and Local Government Funds from the state are estimated at $2.07 million, unencumbered balance as of Jan. 1, 2019 at $5.5 million and other revenue and transfers in at $8.51 million.
Other major areas of spending for 2019 are street construction, maintenance and repair, where $1.99 million is appropriated, the Family Recreation Center ($1.48 million) and parks and recreation ($729,850).
Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400 Ext. 4189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.