The proposed 2019 budget being considered by Groveport City Council is up slightly from last year and includes projects and purchases ranging from road repairs and sewer main replacements to new police cruisers, police body cameras and air conditioning for the banquet room at The Links golf course.
Proposed general fund appropriations for 2019 are $18,490,630, up from $18,416,299 this year, according to information City Administrator Marsha Hall provided to council. Total expenditures are anticipated at $42.6 million, compared to the $41.7 million estimated for this year.
General fund revenue, which includes income and property taxes, grants, fees and permits, is projected at $16.1 million for 2019, up from the estimated $15.9 million this year, according to information presented to council.
Council is expected to vote on the 2019 budget at its Nov. 13 meeting. By law, an operating budget must be in place by Dec. 31.
"Although the budgeted numbers for the general fund represent no increase in income-tax revenue, the 2019 appropriations budget still maintains progress toward several City Council objectives: increasing the balance in the rainy-day fund, increasing the general fund balance by another 20 percent and setting aside 20 percent of all income tax collection for debt service," Hall wrote in her budget memo to council.
The rainy-day fund reached $1.5 million this year and is expected to climb to $1.6 million next year, city officials said.
Council also is considering an annual cost-of-living adjustment of 2.8 percent for city employees, which is derived from several databases, Hall said. One factor is Social Security, which recently announced a 2.8 percent increase for 2019.
The proposed maximum pay for city employee ranges from $13.20 an hour for a golf attendant I, for example, to $63 an hour ($131,034 annually) for Groveport's city administrator and law director.
"(Our biggest expense) is typically payroll more than anything," Assistant City Administrator and Finance Director Jeff Green said. "We typically will factor in a 4.5 percent increase, because that's the top merit increase. We always figure in worst case."
Health insurance premiums will remain steady after the city negotiated a two-year agreement, he said.
Green also has been keeping an eye on income tax revenues, which he said have been below year-to-date totals from last year.
Income tax collections totaled $11.5 million between January and September, down from $12.8 million for the same period in 2017, he said.
However, Green expects estimates to be on track by the end of the year, especially with seasonal hiring beginning at the numerous warehouses in the city.
"The last few years, we've had large estimated tax payments that were made," Green said. "This year, we didn't have those, and we think this year may be a year of correction. I think next year we will see some of these companies making larger estimated payments."
Some of the proposed projects in the 2019 budget include:
* Pavement rehabilitation on East Bixby Road from near Ebright Road to U.S. Route 33 -- $348,000 (street fund) and $92,000 (storm water fund)
* Annual street maintenance -- $450,000 (street fund) and $105,000 (storm water fund)
* Traffic signal upgrades at Hamilton Road and Firehouse Lane -- $542,000 total grant project, with matching $68,100 from the street fund
* Bixford Green bike and pedestrian path -- $180,000 from the parks fund
Some of the proposed purchases and estimated costs include:
* Two new police cruisers -- $120,000
* 17 police body cameras -- $74,314
* Air conditioning for the banquet room at The Links golf course -- $100,000
* Window replacements at the municipal building -- $40,000