Etna Township trustees began the 2011 budget process this month and hope to have it finished in December.

Etna Township trustees began the 2011 budget process this month and hope to have it finished in December.

That would be faster than the 2010 budget, which was not adopted until March.

Fiscal officer Walter Rogers said both technology and his tax practice made it a good idea to approve the budget in December.

"In the past, in January the township would approve an interim budget to carry through the end of March. Then in March they would approve a full-year budget," Rogers said.

This year, because I'm a tax accountant, my time from Jan. 1 to May 1 is extremely limited. With today's technology, we pretty well know our revenue numbers from the state of Ohio and the county auditor's office."

Rogers said the township receives only a small amount of money from the state of Ohio, so he is recommending to the trustees that they assume the township will receive nothing.

"As far as our numbers from the state of Ohio, we're assuming zero, so if we get anything, it's a bonus," Rogers said. "They keep talking about an $8-billion deficit, so we'll just assume it's extra if we get anything."

Of the total township budget of $1.9-million, Rogers said only about $50,000 was from the state.

"We're not talking significant numbers from the state," he said. "The bulk of our revenue comes from real estate taxes, but we also instituted a $5 per license fee in the township, which goes strictly to the road and bridge fund."

The most expensive expenditure items for the township are road repairs, which can easily run $100,000 for a project, Rogers said.

"My goal is by the second meeting in December we will have all the major line items in the budget competed," he said. "We won't be able to formally approve the budget until the first meeting in January, because I won't know the last line item, the carryover balance, until I close the books on the last day in December."

In other recent business, trustees approved a resolution prohibiting employees from texting while driving county vehicles or in the course of township duties.