Gahanna's city council and the citizens financial advisory committee have glimpsed at a five-year budget-plan presentation.

Gahanna's city council and the citizens financial advisory committee have glimpsed at a five-year budget-plan presentation.

Mayor Becky Stinchcomb said city departments looks at what it would cost to operate the city in a "normal" year.

"No one has a crystal ball," she said. "We were trying to get departments to look at services and amenities the taxpayers had gotten used to. This is a moving, living plan. We made estimates on miscellaneous expenses. What's not in here is a wish list."

Finance director Angel Mumma said departments had submitted capital requests and tried to see if they were in line with the previous year's capital programs.

"This really is a moving document," she said. "We update it every day. It's just a baseline to get started."

The general-fund five-year plan for expenses is distributed as follows: personal services, 37 percent, or $106,415,745; contractual services, 26 percent, or $72,697,741; supplies and materials, 14 percent, or $40,250,850; capital outlay, 20 percent, or $56,467,607; debt services, 2 percent, or $4,628,573; and transfers, 1 percent, or $3,784,398.

In examining the future, Mumma said, most departments focused on two key areas - personal services and capital improvements.

Over the next five years, no changes are planned to board and commission members' salaries, and no wage increases will be given to unclassified employees in 2011.

Mumma said she budgeted a 15-percent increase annually for heath insurance but hopes that much isn't needed.

"We've offered incentives (city wellness plan) to try to get the numbers down," she said.

Over the next five years, the city envisions one full-time administrative aide in the mayor's office in 2013 and the elimination of part-time funding that same year.

Other employee additions/changes include one paid intern for public information in 2013; one full-time administrative aide in human resources in 2012, along with the elimination of part-time funding; one full-time systems administrator in information technology in 2013; one full-time equipment operator, split between parks and rec and the golf course, in 2011; and the addition of two full-time police officers in 2013 and 2014.

Under general-fund capital, Mumma said, the city halted its regular cycle to replace police cars at the rate it had been replacing them. The annual police-equipment and vehicle-replacement programs are scheduled to resume in the next five years, as is the annual streets program.

An online permits module will be implemented, and routine information-technology hardware and software upgrades also are scheduled.

Routine parks facilities and equipment upgrades and maintenance are planned, as well as skate-park resurfacing.

In addition, a Carriage House renovation for the Herb Center is on the to-do list, as are routine pool maintenance, the replacement of siding at the golf course and routine fleet replacement and maintenance.

Potential bonding projects include park development at the Buckles tract, for $3-million in 2011-2012; southwest flood plain construction, $5-million in 2013; recreation trail improvements, $250,000 annually for the next five years; Academy Park rebuild, $2-million in 2014 and $3-million in 2015; aquatics center (Gahanna Swim Club), $2.5-million in 2012 for phase 1 and $5-million in 2013 for phase 2; a firing range/training facility, $4-million in 2015; Royal Manor/Brentwood phase 1 design and construction for storm water, $3-million 2013-15; and Havens Corner branch stormwater sewer construction, $1.2-million in 2014.

Other potential bonding projects with an unknown project year include a new golf-course clubhouse, $1.5 million; current golf-club renovation for another use, $1.5-million; community center, $20-million; disk golf course, $25,000; pedestrian bridge from Friendship Park to the Gahanna Swim Club, $400,000; Creekside playground/splash pad, $500,000; Middle School West softball field improvements, $150,000; and a service complex, $15-million.

The five-year revenue-to-expenditure comparison shows the total expenses exceeding expected revenues.

"We haven't bumped up income-tax revenue because we haven't seen growth," Mumma said. "This is just a starting point. This will change quarter to quarter and year to year."

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com