Osborn: 2013 budget reflects city growth
Canal Winchester's recently approved operating budget for 2013 reflects city growth, according to Finance Director Nanisa Osborn.
City Council approved the budget unanimously on July 2 following a public hearing. It was first presented to council on June 4; no residents attended the public meeting or provided testimony in regard to the budget.
Osborn said that as companies have begun to use more temporary labor, the city has seen an increase in revenue.
"That has begun for us, so I anticipate we'll see modest increases in the next year," Osborn said. "I estimate income will go up about 2.4 percent, predicated on people going back to work."
For the city to remain in accordance with the law and to receive adjustments to revenue from tax levies, the approved budget must be submitted to the budget commissions in Franklin and Fairfield counties prior to July 20, she said.
"The general fund budget for 2013 is $6.1 million compared to the 2012 budget of $5.8 million," Osborn said. "The general fund is a balanced budget, but the other funds are not necessarily because we have set-asides for projects. However, we'll begin January with a little over $10 million and we'll end in the about the same place."
Water and sewer operations will see increases in revenue of 2.6 and 2.9 percent, respectively, according to Osborn, to cover increases in chemical and utility charges at the water and sewage plants.
"Our utility bills have gone up more than our fee increases in the past year, so we'll see these increases for 2013 which will get us set right," she said.
Osborn said Canal Winchester officials hope to establish a water stabilization fund of $100,000, similar to the current sewer stabilization fund.
Possible federal Environmental Protection Agency regulations may tighten restrictions on sewer output into the Big Walnut Creek Watershed; for this reason, Osborn budgeted $150,000 in contingency funds.
"We have a number of pieces of debt and every year we make a good stab at paying off a portion of that debt," she said. "The water and sewer system from the plant expansions were big dollars for us, so we'll pay about $560,000 toward those."
Staff-related budget items include a 3-percent increase in pay, an increase in health care costs of 10 percent and new hires of an administrative assistant and a maintenance worker.
Capital investments represent the largest expenditures in the budget, including $400,000 for pavement maintenance, which is an annual, ongoing expense, as well as the $2.1 million Tank Town project to replace water lines and street infrastructure.
The Tank Town project was awarded a combination $1.1-million grant and $1.2-million no-interest loan from the Ohio Public Works Commission.
According to Osborn, the city's total revenue for 2013 will be $13.3 million, which is slightly below expected total expenses of $13.4 million. This reflects carryover of some purchases from the current year.
Council is not scheduled to meet again in July; the next scheduled meeting will be at 7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 6, at Town Hall, 10 N. High St.