Grove City Record

Grove City Council

2013 capital projects drive city budget higher

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Next year's Grove City budget is expected to be greater than this year's because of a number of capital improvement projects.

On Monday, Dec. 3, city council formally received the proposed 2013 budget and appropriations ordinance submitted by the administration.

Council is required to approve the budget by Dec. 24. Otherwise, it goes into effect as submitted.

"This budget presents a financial plan to responsibly guide our community through fiscal year 2013," according to a letter to council by Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage included with the budget proposal.

The administration is asking council for an appropriation of $28,182,552, an increase over the 2012 appropration by $2,545,538.

"The majority of this increase is to fund $6,290,500 of proposed capital improvement projects, including $2,150,000 to fund our street paving needs," according to Stage's letter.

Operating expenses are also projected to increase by 2.5 percent over 2012.

In addition, while income tax receipts are expected to climb two percent, general fund revenue is projected to fall by five percent due to reductions in local government fund support from the state, the elimination of the estate tax and other factors.

A special meeting is scheduled for Monday, Dec. 10, in city council chambers at city hall to discuss the budget and other long-range funding options.

In other news, council authorized a three-year financial assistance agreement with Grove City Town Center Inc.

Under the terms of the agreement, the city will reimburse the town center for up to $75,000 in both 2013 and 2014 and up to $50,000 in 2015. As part of the ordinance passed Monday night, council agreed to appropriate $75,000 for the first year of the agreement.

Grove City Town Center Inc. is a nonprofit organization in charge of leading and stimulating economic development in the town center and marketing it.

"The town center really has the opportunity to grow, expand and thrive," said Andy Furr, executive director of the Town Center.

Councilman Jeff Davis said the timing of the agreement "couldn't be better."

"I think of you as an extension of the city for the next three years," Davis said to Furr. "I truly see a renewed energy."

Stage said it was important another source of revenue for the town center would eventually need to be found, and Furr said they were pursuing that goal.

"We have to find some way to maintain ourselves."

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