Reynoldsburg City Council approved an interim budget for 2009 on Dec. 22. The final budget is expected to be approved by April.

Reynoldsburg City Council approved an interim budget for 2009 on Dec. 22. The final budget is expected to be approved by April.

Citing higher than anticipated expenses, city officials decided in December that an interim budget would be needed for the first quarter of 2009 so they would have more time to balance the final budget.

City auditor Richard Harris said that while crunching numbers for the 2009 budget, he discovered a $479,576 difference in expenses over projected revenue in 2009, or $13,608,198 in total estimated expenses compared to $13,128,622 in estimated revenue.

He said the main culprit for the hike was an extra pay period for employees in 2009, which accounts for $400,000 of the $479,576 figure.

As a result, council requested an interim budget for the first quarter of 2009. Harris, Mayor Brad McCloud, councilman Ron Stake, city attorney Jed Hood and council president William Hills reviewed the 2009 estimated expense figures and cut them to $13,127,832.

Harris said the interim budget had to allow payroll and general operations in the city to function normally.

He said changes made on the interim budget included dropping capital purchase expenses from all departments and from their general and enterprise funds -- a total of $480,366 that accounts for such items as new police and street department vehicles, and office and computer equipment.

Harris said city officials will be working on the final budget over the next couple of months.

"We're looking at a lot of different things, so no decision has obviously been made and when it is we'll let you know," Harris said.

"We need to have something so we can pay the payroll, but the mayor has to make some tough decisions in the next few weeks," Stake said. "Our biggest expenses are in our personnel expense, and hopefully he'll look for input from other people, but he's the chief administrator of the city and he's the one who has to decide about personnel and things like that."

McCloud said everything is on the table in terms of figuring out which type of cuts ultimately will need to be made.

"Nothing is off the table. We have to figure out how to do it whether it's personnel or overtime," McCloud said.

McCloud said the $400,000 hit for the extra pay period in 2009 was substantial. He also said the economy doesn't help matters, but an interim budget allows the city to go forward.

"It will be a collected effort between all of us to work out the final budget, and we don't know how tough of a decision it is going to be," McCloud said.