The city of Grandview Heights and the village of Marble Cliff have nearly completed negotiations for a renewal of the services contract between the two communities.

The city of Grandview Heights and the village of Marble Cliff have nearly completed negotiations for a renewal of the services contract between the two communities.

"We're getting very close," city attorney Joelle Khouzam told Grandview Heights City Council last week.

Khouzam said she and Marble Cliff village solicitor Mitch Banchefsky are holding conversations to finalize the agreement.

"At this point we're tweaking" the agreement before forwarding it to the city and village councils for their approval, she said.

Council member Steve Von Jasinski expressed concern that the approximately $12,000 increase in the payment Marble Cliff would make to Grandview this year for the services it receives may not be adequate compensation.

When he makes the cost calculations of the departments that are specifically stated in the contract, Von Jasinski said, "I keep (finding) that we are grossly under collecting" when compared to the cost for Grandview to provide those services.

The approximately $12,000 increase in the proposed contract represents about a 2.89 percent increase, he said.

That increase in essence covers two years, Von Jasinski added, because last year the contract terms were frozen because of the impact of NiSource's pending departure from the village.

Grandview's budget has increased more than 7 percent over last year, he said.

The budget just for the departments that provide services in the contract increased more than 4 percent, Von Jasinski said.

Von Jasinski's viewpoint "is certainly one way to look at it," council president Steve Reynolds said. "An alternative way to look at it is what are our fixed costs and what does it cost us additionally to service Marble Cliff."

Mayor Ray DeGraw said most of the costs are related to personnel, and the personnel costs associated with the police and fire department and for sanitation would be the same with or without Marble Cliff being served.

There are a number of fixed costs, including personnel and the purchase of fire trucks, ambulances and police cruisers, that the city would face even without providing service to Marble Cliff, council member Anthony Panzera said.

"I personally believe we should cover our increases in departmental budgets in the departments that are contracted for," Von Jasinski said.

"I don't disagree," DeGraw said. "That's generally been covered in the past."

Council member P'Elizabeth Koelker said she believes council needs to know what it costs to provide service to Marble Cliff.

"I would feel like I understand the decisions on the (contract) numbers better if I understood what the background was," she said.

"I think it would be better to try to understand the background of the numbers for the next contract and not try to apply it" for this year's pact, Panzera said.

Marble Cliff officials are "going through the process of figuring out what their finances are," after the loss of much of its tax base, DeGraw said.

Once the village's finances stabilize, "we can hopefully come back and recapture that, plus more," DeGraw said.