Olentangy Valley News

Powell budget approved at $8.3 million

More spending expected for items 'on hold' during down economic times

By ANDREW KING
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Powell City Council approved the city's 2014 budget of $8,281,332 at its regular meeting Dec. 3.

The budget is nearly $2 million more than 2013's budget, a move city leaders said was a response to positive turns in the economy.

"The main goal for the 2014 budget was to incorporate things we'd put on hold in 2008 or 2009, when the economy was stagnant," said Powell spokeswoman Megan Canavan. "We're seeing things pick back up, and in return we're able to add some of these things back into the community."

Revenue is expected to be similar to that of 2013 -- down about $100,000 to a projected $6,582,924 -- but the city now feels comfortable dipping into "rainy-day" funds for necessary projects, Canavan said. The city expects its revenue to increase to $6,716,393 in 2015.

Powell will have an estimated carryover of $6,108,788 in its general fund left unappropriated after Dec. 31 of this year, with $4,380,730 remaining at the end of 2014, projections show.

The city expects to earn more in income and property taxes in 2014, but also anticipates around $200,000 less from the local government fund and other revenue.

Among 2014 expenses are $77,000 for new software for the building department, which will allow the department to run more efficiently, Canavan said, and a new snow plow and truck that will cost the city $120,000.

Powell also will hire a full-time police officer, as well as upgrade a part-time parks department employee to full time. Canavan said there will be an extra position in the building department as one employee trains under another expected to retire next year.

The budget was put together by a finance committee, which began the budgeting process in the summer.

"It's actually really great because the meetings are always open to the public," Canavan said. "The committee (comprises) council members, staff and few regular residents who provide input on the budget."

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