Tri-Village News

City's budget inches up from 2012; deficit spending down

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Mayor Ray DeGraw presented Grandview Heights City Council this week with a proposed 2013 budget totaling $11,798,372.

The budget proposal, introduced during council's meeting Monday, Nov. 5, includes a little more than $9.4 million in general fund expenditures.

There is a $169,857 difference between projected general fund expenditures and general fund revenues for 2013, DeGraw said.

"The good news is that last year I brought you a budget with more than $800,000 in deficit spending," he said.

The proposed general fund budget for 2013 is $41,025 more than the initial 2012 budget council approved last December -- an increase of just 0.44 percent, DeGraw said.

Assumptions for the 2013 budget proposal include a 2-percent pay raise for all satisfactorily performing nonuniformed personnel, he said. The pension pickup paid by the city will be eliminated in 2013 for nonuniform employees.

The city will see a 10-percent increase in health-insurance rates July 1, but no increases are factored in for vision and dental, he said.

Grandview has applied to join the county insurance plan, and if it is accepted, council will need to approve joining before Dec. 20, DeGraw said. Joining the county insurance plan would save the city about $100,000 a year.

Total appropriations for general government and administration costs are expected to decrease by nearly 20 percent over 2012, he said. A transfer of $440,000 for economic development has been removed from the budgetary assumptions.

The largest projected increase is expected to be a 17.78-percent boost in finance and legal expenditures, including an $80,000 increase in the budget for income tax refunds and fees and a transfer of $50,000 of income tax related to Grandview Yard to a trustee.

Council heard the first reading of an ordinance to approve the 2013 budget and the legislation was assigned to the finance committee.

Also at this week's meeting, council heard the first reading of an ordinance authorizing the city to issue and sell up to $2.8 million in bonds to pay for planned improvements to Pierce Field and Wyman Woods parks.

With a planned term of 28 years, the city's payment would be about $150,000 per year, said Brian Cooper, a director with Robert W. Baird & Co., during a finance committee meeting held prior to council's Nov. 5 session.

Cooper said he, DeGraw and Director of Administration/Economic Development Patrik Bowman will meet Wednesday, Nov. 14, with representatives of Standard & Poor's "to tell them everything about Grandview.

"They will take it back to a credit committee to determine (the city's) credit rating," a process that should take about a week, Cooper said.

"We believe the city will be rated in the AA category," he said.

Assuming council approves the ordinance after its third reading at the Dec. 3 meeting, the city would begin selling the bonds Dec. 5 with a closing to take place Dec. 20.

"So we would have funds available beginning on or about Dec. 30," Finance Director Bob Dvoraczky said.

The sooner the city issues the bonds, the better, because interest rates likely will rise soon, Cooper said.

The ordinance was assigned to council's finance committee.

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