Violet Township officials are eyeing an approximately $10.5 million budget in 2012 and currently don't anticipate any changes to staffing.

Violet Township officials are eyeing an approximately $10.5 million budget in 2012 and currently don’t anticipate any changes to staffing.

The Violet Township trustees are expected to approve an operating budget on Dec. 21 that would include funding to the Violet Township Fire Department and for local road and bridge maintenance.

Bill Yaple, the township’s director of operations, said this week he’s proposed a total township budget ranging from approximately $10.3 million to about $10.5 million.

Of that, approximately $8 million would go to the fire department, which provides fire, medic and other emergency response services to Violet Township and the city of Pickerington.

The balance would go toward upkeep of the township’s roads and bridges and to pay for township employee salaries and day-to-day operations, Yaple said.

“Our total budget will be about $10.5 million for 2012,” he said. “It’s about a $500,000 decrease from 2011.

“We think revenues are going to be down, so we’ve reduced the budget.”

Yaple said he expects the township’s share of Local Government Funds, which are divided among municipalities by the Ohio General Assembly, will be decreased by about $500,000 in 2012.

“Next year we’ll take another drop when they reduce the estate tax,” he said.

Included in the proposed budget are plans to renovate Violet Township Hall, 12970 Rustic Drive, and the former township hall at 4 E. Columbus St., which the township still owns but currently is used as a Fairfield County Sheriff’s substation. That work likely will cost $150,000 to $200,000, Yaple said.

This year, the township spent $36,000 to replace the roof on the East Columbus Street facility and Yaple said minor upgrades were in store in 2012 to prolong the building’s useful life.

At Violet Township Hall, Yaple said, the biggest project will be to remove skylights.

“The skylights are 10 to 11 years old,” he said. “The seals in them are cracking. We’re probably going to remove those skylights and put roofing in.”

As for salaries, all union township employees and approximately 44 firefighters represented by a union are in line for 3-percent raises in 2012.

In both cases, Yaple said, the raises were negotiated through collective-bargaining contracts set to expire at the end of 2012.

“This is the last year of those contracts,” he said. “At this point, there’s no intention to change staffing.”

Yaple added that his proposal would allow the fire department to replace a 20-year-old fire truck this year, but no contract is in place for that purchase.

Additionally, he said, township officials don’t believe they’ll seek a new revenue source in 2012 via a roads and bridges or other tax levy.

“We have not discussed that and we don’t think we’ll need one in 2012,” he said.

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