Hilliard Northwest News

Hilliard City Council

Budget for 2013 expected to increase more than 3 percent

Hilliard City Council on Nov. 19 heard reports from department directors concerning operating budgets for 2013.

Department directors also presented individual budgets to the Finance and Administration Committee meeting in advance of the special City Council meeting.

At the special meeting, City Council members introduced legislation appropriating funds for citywide operating expenses in 2013. The ordinance is scheduled for a second reading and public hearing at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 26, at the Hilliard Municipal Building, 3800 Municipal Way. Read the Nov. 29 edition of the ThisWeek Hilliard Northwest News for more information.

The estimated general-fund budget for 2013 is $20.28 million and reflects a 3.28 percent increase from the 2012 budget. In the previous two years, increases were 0.4 percent and 0.12 percent, respectively.

The estimated general-fund revenue is $20.3 million, $20,752 in excess of expenditures.

General government expenses, those not attributable to a specific department and including property and casualty insurance and workers’ compensation fees, are estimated at $1.7 million for 2013 and reflects an increase of 17.5 percent compared to last year.

At the department level, the budget of the finance department for 2013 is $865,573, 4.74 percent less than the estimated expenditures for 2012.

The decrease results from a restructuring of personnel that transferred a payroll specialist to another department and adding an assistant, said Deputy Finance Director Dave Delande.

The budget for the city’s information-technology division is $535,219, a 15.2 percent increase from 2012.

“Our city, particularly the police department, is dependent on (technology) 24/7, and the only way to provide is by a contract. We believe such 24/7 availability is important for the safety of our citizens and employees,” Mayor Don Schonhardt said.

The budget for the human-resources department is $359,208, an increase of 38 percent from the 2012 budget and a result of the department assuming payroll responsibilities from the finance department.

The lands and buildings department budget is $962,123, an increase of 3.22 percent from 2012.

The law department budget is $342,861, an increase of 7.4 percent from 2012.

The safety department budget is $8.2 million, of which $7.9 million is for personnel salaries and benefits. The 2013 budget is a 1.2 percent increase from 2012.

To save money, the safety department has two lieutenants, rather than three, but there is an increase of about $100,000 for retirement benefits, as well as increases for K-9 care and housing for inmates at the county jail.

The public-services budget is $2.04 million, an 8.1 percent increase from 2012.

The recreation and parks budget is $2.8 million, an increase of less than 1 percent from 2012.

Parks and Recreation Department Director Steve Mazer outlined the department’s numerous programs and reported revenue from pool membership, programs and concessions, all increased this year.

The pool generated more than $800,000 in revenue, Mazer said. After deducting expenses, such as staffing and chemicals, the pool netted a profit of about $87,000, much higher than the industrial average, Mazer said.

In other business at the Nov. 19 meeting, City Council approved the capital-improvements plan for 2013-2017.

Legislation funding the 2013 capital-improvements plan was introduced and is scheduled for further consideration Nov. 26.

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