Worthington City Council on Dec. 3 voted 7-0 to approve the final city operating budget for 2019, and it contained a few changes from 2018.

Budget discussions for 2019 started Oct. 8.

Worthington's city charter requires that an operating budget estimate and explanatory budget message be sent to city council by the city manager 60 days prior to the beginning of each budget year. A proposed five-year capital-improvements plan also is submitted within this timeframe.

Finance director Scott Bartter said the total 2019 general-fund budget was $30,130,576.

The general-fund budget for 2018 was $28,394,317, according to city documents.

Total estimated expenditures for the 2019 general fund are $30,130,576, Bartter said.

According to budget documents, the total of all the city's funds in 2019 would be $47,806,143.

Total expenditures from all the city's funds are estimated at $37,236,276, according to Bartter.

Regarding funding for community groups, the budget has two notable changes for 2019. The Old Worthington Partnership will receive an increase of $5,000 in funding from 2018 to $55,000 for 2019, and the Worthington Historical Society will receive a $5,000 increase from 2018 to $32,000.

Bartter said the increase given to the partnership would help cover expenses for its events, specifically, Picnic with the Partnership.

The increase is related only to the Old Worthington Partnership's funding request and not the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Worthington electing to dissolve and hand over its duties to promote the city to the partnership, Bartter said. Discussion and any action regarding funding would be expected in the first quarter of 2019, he said.

The extra $5,000 given to the historical society is for an increase in part-time hours to help facilitate educational programs, such as Pioneer Days, Bartter said.

Greeson said other notable changes include three studies: one each on recreational programs, water-and-sewer infrastructure and traffic signals.

The city has allocated $25,000 in the operating budget to study how it charges for and supports recreational programs, Bartter said.

Greeson said city leaders also want to study water-and-sewer infrastructure and how those systems are maintained. The city set aside $100,000 for this assessment, according to budget documents.

"We're an older community and maintaining those infrastructures is critically important to us," Greeson said.

The budget documents indicated $50,000 was earmarked for a study of the city's traffic-signal system.

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