The city of Hilliard's 2011 budget will be a "maintenance budget," Mayor Don Schonhardt said at the Oct. 25 city council meeting.

The city of Hilliard's 2011 budget will be a "maintenance budget," Mayor Don Schonhardt said at the Oct. 25 city council meeting.

"It is typical when the economy goes south, the most severe impact to the government entities is not in the year that it impacts the private sector, but in the year following," Schonhardt said. "That is going to be at least in part in 2011."

Schonhardt said he believes the city's revenues will continue to be relatively flat next year, but that they would "be in a world of hurt" had Hilliard not undertaken a commercial development program in 2004.

"My charge to each of the (department) directors in the preparation of the budget (draft) that you have before you is quite simple: take the 2010 budget, change the 10 to an 11, and unless you have a previously negotiated increase in employee costs, everything stays the same."

Schonhardt went on to say that "the city has continued to grow, and yet we have not expanded our (government) workforce. We have managed to increase our productivity and our operating efficiencies ÉI think we have done a yeoman's job in continuing to provide the level of services that we've provided.

"What you have before you É is a maintenance budget. It takes the current level of services and continues those."

Also at the meeting:

• Chiropractor Mark Sullivan expressed concern over pedestrian safety at Northwest Parkway and Avery Road.

• Council voted 6-0 with one abstention to sponsor a table at the Hilliard Area Chamber of Commerce's annual Hollyfest Auction.

• Council unanimously approved four resolutions, including seeking financial assistance to undertake stream restoration in the Clover Groff Ditch in Latham Park.

• Schonhardt presented a proclamation in recognition of Make a Difference month to Patches of Light founder Mindy Atwood.

Earlier in the evening, the economic and community development committee met briefly. They gave a positive recommendation to applying for a Community Development Block Grant from the Franklin County Commissioners. Schonhardt said the grant would assist a capital improvement project to create a secondary, looped roadway access from Hilliard Rome Road to Huston Road and back to Hilliard Rome via Gladstone Place. Schonhardt said the project would create jobs and spur development. Council later approved the resolution.

Next, Finance Director Michelle Kelly-Underwood outlined the city's third quarter review at council's finance and administration committee meeting.

She said that with three-fourths of the year completed, Hilliard's total operating expenditures ($16,726,785) have exceeded total operating revenues ($16,705,946) by $20,839. In addition, Hilliard's revenue collections ($14,358,468) were 73.4 percent percent of what was estimated for total General Fund revenues ($19,556,427) for 2010.

The committee also discussed a budget hearing timeline, with meetings and hearings planned over the next two months so council can approve the city's 2011 budget by the end of 2010.