Whitehall News

City's finances

Forecast shows deficit spending starting in 2015


The general-fund operating budget for the city of Whitehall includes a forecast showing a miniscule profit in 2014 but deficit spending beginning in 2015.

Whitehall Mayor Kim Maggard presented the city's appropriation budget for 2014 during the Nov. 12 meeting of the committees of Whitehall City Council.

Maggard said the city has seen revenue losses from reductions in state funding and employee furloughs at Defense Supply Center Columbus and has "tried to be creative" in creating a balanced budget.

Reductions from requested amounts were made within every department except the Civil Service Commission, Maggard said.

Maggard asked council members to review the overall budget, which included budgets for each department, and contact her with any concerns.

An ordinance appropriating $27.4 million for general-fund operating expenses in 2014 was introduced Nov. 12 and was scheduled for introduction and a first reading at the Nov. 18 council meeting.

The 2014 general fund estimates revenue of $26.2 million and almost identical expenditures. The budget projects a carry-over of $21,210. The city's estimated cash balance at the end of 2014 is $5.97 million.

Beginning in 2015 and extending through 2018, the budget forecasts annual deficit spending of $400,000 to almost $600,000 each year, reducing the city's estimated cash balance to $3.97 million by the end of 2018.

The 2014 budget for the mayor's office is $559,691, an increase from the 2013 appropriation of $542,115. The appropriation for the mayor's salary of $77,500 did not change, nor did the appropriation for the community-affairs coordinator ($52,670). However, $73,000 has been appropriated for the development director's salary. In 2013, $66,500 was set aside for the position.

The combined budget of the offices of auditor and treasurer is $1.1 million in 2014, up from an appropriation of $938,360 this year. The salary of the full-time auditor ($75,000) and part-time treasurer ($7,500) is unchanged. The budget for income-tax refunds increased from $400,000 this year to $550,000 in 2014.

The budget for the human-resources director increased to $158,060 in 2014 from $157,700 this year and includes a salary increase for the department director, from $91,500 to $93,560.

The budget for the office of city attorney was reduced to $334,482 from $339,657. The salary of the city attorney remains at $75,000. The budget was reduced for a paralegal secretary.

The budget for the public-service department is $575,828 next year, up from $553,332 for 2013. The salary of the service director increased to $83,845 from $82,000; the budget for a facility maintenance technician was increased from $54,590 to $60,673.

The budget of the parks and recreation department was trimmed to $834,361 in 2014 from this year's appropriation of $853,263. The director's salary increased to $68,939 from $67,057, but reductions were made in the budget for part-time employees.

The budget of the Civil Service Commission increased from $17,950 to $44,125.

Maggard appropriated $40,925 in 2014 for civil service testing. Union contracts require testing every two years, and the city will administer civil service examinations for an administrative clerk, thus requiring an increase in the budget, Maggard said.