Dublin City Council's goals for 2019 include increasing income-tax revenues by 3% or more annually.

The city's financial health affects its ability to carry out services, said Mayor Greg Peterson.

"Everything flows from that," he said.

The three major goals for the year revolve around increasing income-tax revenue, improving internet capacity in the city and implementing the use of data to aid in making city project decisions. Council members adopted the goals May 6.

Dublin is in a particular place in its evolution, and these goals are intended to guide council members and staff in the next generation of economic development and planning, said City Councilwoman Christina Alutto.

Regarding income-tax revenues, in 2018 the city collected $88.1 million, which was an increase of 0.7% over 2017, said Angel Mumma, Dublin's director of finance.

Of that amount, the largest component was from withholding, which is the revenue generated from those individuals who work within the city of Dublin, she said.

That component made up 81% of the city's income-tax revenues. Business net profits and individuals made up the remaining 19%, she said.

In 2019, the city has budgeted income-tax revenues of $85.4 million, Mumma said.

Part of the goal to increase income-tax revenue includes drafting a new economic-development strategy that council members would need to approve, said Dana McDaniel, Dublin's city manager.

Business community members and key city stakeholders are being interviewed as part of this process, and the city is using consultant TEConomy, McDaniel said. Council could consider adoption of the strategy at an August or September meeting, he said.

Council's second goal for 2019 is to become the most connected community in the United States.

In the past few community surveys, data showed somewhat of a decline in satisfaction with internet services, McDaniel said. Improving this likely would include community and industry dialogue with residents and telecommunication providers, he said, and perhaps more surveys.

The city also could implement a fiber-optic cable network for residential use, Peterson said, to ensure internet providers could use the infrastructure. A cost for such a project isn't established yet, but if this type of project is pursued, it would be added to the city's five-year capital-improvements program, he said.

According to Measurement Lab, an open-source project that compiles broadband internet statistics from user-generated speed tests, in 2018 Dublin had an average download speed of 14.4 Mbps (megabits per second); Ohio had an average download speed of 11.2 Mbps and the nation had an average download speed of 16.1 Mbps.

The data use for this comparison comes from Measurement Lab and is not collected by Dublin, said Nick Plouck, a Dublin management assistant.

Council's third goal for the year also has to do with technology. The goal is to innovate and enhance city services using big data and better analytics.

Data or big data is information Dublin and all local governments collect and store every day from a variety of sources, McDaniel said.

The value of all this data is what the city can do with it to improve services and processes, he said.

"Creating data platforms that are more integrated internally and with external data information sources can help us be more efficient and intelligent with our operations, with economic development and financially," he said.

As part of this goal, the city would create an online dashboard and work with a tech consultant to include data associated with topics such as crime and safety, traffic, recreation and development, Peterson said.

These three goals, City Councilwoman Cathy De Rosa said, will help make sure the city is well positioned for the next 10 years. And as the city works through strategies and implements pilot programs, it will engage the community, she said.

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