New Albany News

Mayor, council salary increases will be combined

City manager gets 2.5 percent raise and bonus


New Albany City Council on Nov. 19 heard first readings of two ordinances to change the mayor's and council members' salaries before tabling one indefinitely.

Both ordinances are related to a proposed 2.5-percent salary increase that could take effect in 2014.

City Attorney Mitch Banchefsky said one ordinance increases the compensation and one would "repeal and replace" salary amounts in the city's code.

Debra Mecozzi, deputy city manager, suggested City Council table the ordinance to increase salaries. She said she could combine both ordinances in one before the next regular meeting Tuesday, Dec. 3.

Council voted 6-0 -- with Chris Wolfe absent -- to indefinitely table the ordinance to increase salaries.

City Council agreed to hear the second and final reading of the other ordinance, with the expected changes, on Dec. 3.

If the legislation is approved Dec. 3, the mayor's salary would increase from $21,800 to $22,345, with the stipend for Mayor's Court increasing from $5,000 to $5,125. City Council's salaries would increase from $9,990 to $10,240, council's legislative report states.

In other business Nov. 19, New Albany City Council:

* Voted 6-0 in favor of City Manager Joseph Stefanov's 2014 contract.

Stefanov earned $138,228 in 2013 and his salary will increase 2.5 percent to $141,676 in 2014. He also will earn a $7,000 performance bonus for meeting all of his 2013 goals.

* Voted 6-0 to accept a 1.4-acre donation from the New Albany Co. for a new water tower that will service the Personal Care and Beauty Business Campus on the city's east side.

* Voted 6-0 to create two new tax-increment financing districts.

One includes 40 acres south of Smith's Mill Road recently developed by Bob Evans Farms.

A TIF is an economic development mechanism available to local governments to finance public infrastructure improvements and, in certain circumstances, residential rehabilitation, according to the Ohio Department of Development. A TIF works by locking in the taxable worth of real property at the value it holds at the time the authorizing legislation was approved.

As the property is developed, certain property taxes on the increased value are diverted to pay for the infrastructure improvements for a set period of time.

Jennifer Chrysler, the city's community development director, said the 40-acre TIF could generate an estimated $3.5 million for business campus improvements over its 30-year term.

The other TIF legislation changes the existing Village Center TIF to include parcels to the south and convert the TIF entirely to a "nonschool" TIF, which allows the New Albany-Plain Local School District to earn property taxes from the area and changes the city's need for a revenue-sharing agreement with the school district.

Chrysler said the city shares income-tax revenue from development in the Village Center with the school district as part of an agreement approved when the original TIF was created. It is the only TIF in the city that was not created as a nonschool TIF, Chrysler said.