The Canal Winchester Times

City’s 2012 budget includes funds for merit raises

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Canal Winchester City Council agreed Dec. 5 to approve a $13,256,548 budget for 2012 that includes general fund appropriations of $5,837,793.

Council’s finance committee completed its final review of the budget appropriations prior to the regular council meeting Monday.

City finance director Nanisa Osborn said that 28 percent of the city’s budget is for staff salaries. Most of the budget covers infrastructure projects.

“We’ve put enough in the budget to cover us for providing raises to the staff this year,” Osborn said. “Our normal standard is that our employees receive a raise based on performance. In this case you’ll get a 3.5-percent raise if you’re pretty perfect, and if you’re only doing half your job, then you won’t get a raise at all.”

The city will complete performance reviews in January, according to Osborn. Employees will be scored using merit points, with a maximum of 30 points available. Raises will be graduated, between 2 percent and 3.5 percent, for employees who score 16 points or higher.

“The last time we did a merit raise was in 2008,” she said. “There were no raises in 2009 or 2010, and then in 2011, we gave everyone across the board a 2.5-percent raise. Our concern is that we have to be competitive if we have to fill jobs.”

Another adjustment made to the appropriations bill was adding $30,000 to the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office budget line item. Osborn said she worked with city staff to identify money in other budget accounts that could be shifted to this line item, rather than increasing the overall budget.

“We moved around some capital money so we didn’t add any money to the budget,” she said. “There was a $47,000 increase in the Fairfield County Sheriff’s rates for 2012 over 2011, due mostly to the rising cost of gasoline and vehicle expenses.

“As the deputy officers themselves change from year to year, their pay rates change, too, which makes our contract fluctuate.”

According to Osborn, the deputies now serving the city have more seniority than in other years.

“With more seniority, they get paid more. But we benefit in that they are also very skilled and experienced at what they do,” Osborn said. “If we were to have 12 officers on our own, we would be looking at a minimum of $2 million annually instead of the $900,000 we’re paying now.”

Council member Rick Deeds questioned how increases in gasoline prices might increase the city’s budget expenses.

“The budgeted amount is the maximum we’ll pay, $3.75 a gallon. If gasoline goes higher than that, we only pay the maximum $3.75, but if it is less than that, we pay less,” Osborn said.

Deeds also asked about the annual budget for a police vehicle.

“We budget every year for a cruiser because for a fleet of three vehicles on the street, this lets us replace one of the three each year, making it a three-year rotation per car,” Osborn said. “It’s not listed in their budget this way because it’s budgeted for differently in the contract, but it is $24,000 in our budget.”

The finance committee will not meet in January. The next meeting will be at 6 p.m., Monday, Feb. 6, at Town Hall, 10 N. High St.

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