Grove City's budget for 2011 is 18 percent lower than its anticipated 2010 expenditures.

Grove City's budget for 2011 is 18 percent lower than its anticipated 2010 expenditures.

Grove City Council members on Dec. 20 voted 5-0 to accept the 2011 budget totaling a little more than $39-million, down $8.6-million from last year.

Income tax revenue is expected to increase only 1 percent in the coming year.

"We're not sure what it's going to be, so we erred on the conservative side," mayor Richard "Ike" Stage said.

The difference is in general fund requests from city departments, which total about $10-million less than in 2010, Stage explained to council at an earlier finance committee meeting.

"Part of that is the way we handled the state Route 665-Interstate 71 interchange," Stage said.

The city transferred money into the capital improvement fund for the interchange, but outside funding, mainly in the form of grants, was obtained to cover most of the cost. That removed the need for another transfer.

The largest increase was in the city's water fund. It rose $2.9-million to cover the construction of a water tank at Fryer Park.

Other large increases include an increase for $453,319 to the street fund, and an increase of $431,694 for the police fund.

Most of the police fund increases were modest and in routine areas of expenditure. About $21,400 will go toward upgrading the telephone systems, and about $50,000 will cover increased costs of boarding prisoners.

The increased street fund budget will cover new light poles, new school zones and crosswalks, plus lubrication systems for the truck fleet.

City council also appropriated significant funds toward lobbying the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and the Ohio Department of Transportation in hopes of securing their support for improvements at Interstate 71 and Stringtown Road.

"We have a lot of work to do," city administrator Phil Honsey said.

"I'd like to put more into (the I-71 and Stringtown project). I don't think I can repeat enough how important Stringtown Road is regionally. We really need to be vocal."