Canal Winchester will begin 2018 with a "conservative" budget that doesn't contain any "fluff," according to the city's finance director.
The overall spending plan for next year is $18.1 million, with $8.3 million earmarked for the general fund, Finance Director Amanda Jackson said. The budget was unanimously approved by council Dec. 4.
"Overall, the general-fund budget is 11 percent higher than the (proposed) 2017 budget, but the 2017 budget has been amended throughout the year," Jackson said. "When compared to the amended 2017 budget, the 2018 budget is actually 5 percent less. Our year-to-date spending is approximately 83 percent of budgeted expenditures."
Ohio law requires cities to have a budget approved by a governing body before any money can be spent. The process begins with a review of the tax budget, followed by meetings with the mayor and department directors to help determine expenses, including salaries, benefits, annual contracts or purchases, projects and capital expenditures.
Canal Winchester's largest revenue source is its income tax, which delivers nearly 80 percent of annual revenue, Jackson said. The 2 percent rate applies to individuals who work in the city as well as those who live in the city and work elsewhere.
With the new BrewDog hotel expected to open in July, Jackson said the city anticipates higher revenue from bed taxes, projected at $140,000.
"We're always trying to be conservative (throughout the year) and spend less than what's projected," City Council President Steve Donahue said. "What you have to look at is the carryover -- and we have a healthy carryover."
The carryover across all funds will be approximately $16.8 million, Jackson said.
Among the general-fund spending is the city's amended contract with the Fairfield County Sheriff's Office for law enforcement protection, which will be $1.1 million next year.
Hiring an additional deputy approved by City Council will cost $90,000.
The contract, which expires at the end of next year, provides for 11 officers and a sergeant, with two deputies covering 24-hour shifts seven days a week, and a third on the streets eight hours a day, five days a week.
The 2018 budget includes quarterly payments for roughly 87 acres along Lithopolis-Winchester Road.
The city purchased the property from Kathleen McGill for more than $775,000 to develop recreational fields, tennis courts and playgrounds to enhance its parks and recreation offerings. The city will make quarterly payments over 10 years.
Work on the $2.4 million Gender Road Phase 4 project will begin next year, with a 45-percent grant and 55-percent loan from the Ohio Public Works Commission.
However, the entire project costs will be higher and additional funds will come from the city, Jackson said.
Projected spending in 2018 also includes $730,000 for street paving and repairs.