Grove City Record

Township revises down budget, dips into reserves


Jackson Township revised its 2014 budget after finding it had less resources than originally projected.

At its regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 25, the Jackson Township Board of Trustees voted unanimously to revise the 2014 appropriation budget, originally approved in December.

In December, trustees authorized an appropriation of $18.8 million with expected resources of $18.9 million to cover those appropriations. Now, the township has appropriated $17.7 million, with an equal amount of revenue projected to cover the spending.

"Things have changed since we first did that," said Township Administrator Mike Lilly. "Some of those assumptions did not pan out."

Chief among those assumptions were the amount of carryover from 2013 and revenue for the general, fire and EMS funds. Originally, the township appropriated $3.5 million for the general fund, $9.6 million for the fire fund and $2.2 million for the EMS fund.

Revenue figures plus carryover originally were projected to be $3.6 million for the general fund, $9.6 million for the fire fund and $2.2 million for the EMS fund. But now, the township projects having $3.4 million available in the general fund, $9.2 million in fire and $1.7 million in EMS.

This left the township short $115,798 in the general fund, $368,403 in the fire fund and $458,665 in the EMS fund, a combined $942,866.

To make up the difference, the budget was adjusted to move a number items from the fire and EMS funds into the general fund, including $387,000 worth of fire operations, including some personnel, training and capital costs. Other items now included in the general fund include an additional $62,000 worth of capital spending on tools and equipment.

"There was nothing that was flat-out cut," Lilly said. "We took those reductions and moved them to another fund."

The township also is tapping into its reserves. Originally, the township projected it would end 2014 with $1.06 million in general fund reserves. Now, those reserves are projected to be $380,202. Projected year-end fire reserves drop from $55,000 to $5,000, and EMS reserves from $160,000 to $4,835.

"We had to get into those reserves," he said. "If you don't have reserves, then you're making real cuts."

Lilly said he expects the township to spend less than the board has authorized.

"We never spend all we have appropriated," he said.

In other news from Jackson Township:

* Trustees unanimously awarded Phase III of the White Road improvement project to Shelly & Sands Inc. for $1.982 million. The project, which will match work done in the earlier phases, will involve a full reconstruction of the road and include new curbs, gutters, street lights and sidewalks along White Road from Hoover Road to Hunting Creek Drive.

Shelly & Sands was one of 11 firms to bid for the project and the only one to bid under $2 million.

Last year, the township received a grant of $1.87 million from the Ohio Public Works Commission for the project. The remaining cost of $114,845 will be split among the township, Grove City and Franklin County.

Work is projected to commence by March 31, with the road being closed sometime in April.

* The construction of Fire Station 204, 4900 Buckeye Parkway, is expected to be complete around mid-March. A ribbon-cutting and opening ceremony is tentatively scheduled for April 2 or 3.

* Trustees also approved the hiring of two new fire technicians: Drew Gable and Raymond Cunningham.