MACEDONIA – The coronavirus crisis is forcing local governments to make significant changes to their 2020 budgets, and Macedonia is no exception.

At its May 14 meeting, City Council took steps to begin reducing appropriations by nearly $3.5 million. The new numbers are $11.79 million in the general fund and $24.76 million in all funds, with transfers and advances amounting to $1.83 million in the general fund and $3.39 million overall.

Council’s action occurred after the finance committee reviewed the current year’s budget May 7.

Although the city was slightly above income tax collection estimates for the first four months of 2020, Finance Director John Veres said the Regional Income Tax Agency forecasts the amounts to be down about 50 percent from May to September and 25 percent for the last three months of the year.

Veres estimates the overall income tax revenue for 2020 will be down about 24 percent ($2.3 million) from 2019, when the city brought in about $8.9 million.

The city is responding to the loss of revenue by reducing full-time wages, laying off some part-time employees, instituting a hiring freeze and postponing some capital improvement projects and purchases.

Repaving of the Family Fitness Center parking lot, which had been budgeted for this year at $350,000, will be postponed, as will purchases of a fire department staff vehicle and service department tandem truck (each estimated at $50,000).

Veres said he anticipates a $2.2 million general fund carryover into 2021. That figure includes $500,000 in emergency reserves and $450,000 in retirement reserves, plus some technology advancement funds. The city had an unencumbered balance of $2.6 million heading into 2020.

Renewal levy in November

In other action, Council declared the necessity to place a 5.07-mill renewal tax levy on the November ballot, and will ask the Summit County fiscal officer to certify the city’s total tax valuation and the amount of revenue that would be generated by the levy.

Mayor Nick Molnar told Council reps at their March 12 meeting that the real estate tax has been on the books since the 1970s, and is essential to fund city operations. He said it currently generates about $500,000 a year.

Once the tax valuation and amount the levy would generate are received from the county fiscal officer, Council must adopt another resolution to send the renewal levy to the Summit County Board of Elections for placement on the ballot. Molnar stressed approval of the levy would not increase a property owner’s tax burden.

The current levy was last renewed by voters in 2015. If approved in November, first collection of the tax funds would occur in 2021.

Council authorized getting rid of several pieces of outdated computer and technology equipment, and transferred the position of payroll administrator from the finance department to human resources.

Information Technology Director Kyle Collins said the old equipment is taking up space on city premises, is no longer usable and is of no value. The items include desktop computers, monitors, printers, and copying machines, much of which dates to the 1990s.

It was noted the transfer of the payroll administrator is being done because of reduced duties in the finance department and added duties in human resources. The salary will not change.

The mayor reported the Family Fitness Center will reopen as soon as possible after the state allows gyms and fitness center to reopen May 26. He noted a Nordonia High seniors parade will be May 21. Details are available on the Nordonia Hills school district’s website.

Molnar also acknowledged the recent death of former Mayor Joseph Migliorini’s mother.

City Engineer Joe Gigliotti reported bids for the "right-in, right-out" access road off Route 8 into the Crossings at Golden Link have been opened and a contract for the project will be before Council soon. The access road has been talked about for seven years.

Fire Chief Brian Ripley reported local volunteers recently delivered 63 meals to senior residents in the Nordonia Hills area as part of a program through the city’s senior center.

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