Big projects highlight Groveport's 2013 city budget
The city of Groveport's proposed 2013 budget shows an increase in the total general fund budget of 22 percent over 2012.
According to a budget report written by City Administrator Marsha Hall and Finance Director Jeff Green, the 2013 general fund budget will be $15.8 million compared to $12.3 in 2012.
The report also states that, through September 2012, income tax collections are up 11.1 percent over the same time in 2011.
"We are projecting a 5 percent increase in income tax revenues for 2013," wrote Hall and Green.
Speaking at a Groveport City Council work session regarding the budget on Oct. 8, Green added, "We went conservative on our income tax revenue projections for 2013."
The 2013 budget shows a balance of $1.5 million in the city's rainy day fund (money that can be used if there is a decline in the city's income tax revenues).
Also, $50,000 is budgeted for the city's annual Fourth of July celebration as well as $16,000 for Apple Butter Day.
Included in the budget is $36,000 in community service grants. This includes $25,000 for Motts Military Museum as part of a commitment Groveport City Council made to the museum a few years ago. Additionally, Green said the Center for Groveport Madison Human Needs requested $7,500 in funding for 2013. He said the remainder of the community service grant money is uncommitted.
In addition to most of the city's departmental budgets, as well as potential generated revenues, seeing increases, the budget also plans for several projects.
According to Hall, construction could begin in the late spring of 2013 on the Groveport Town Center, a proposed downtown development planned for 2.4 acres located on the northeast corner of Main and Front streets.
Hall said an unnamed business is looking at constructing a 10,000 square foot building, as well as an additional 10,000 square foot structure for two other businesses, on the site. She said the city would continue to own the land and lease it to the business. She added that the name of the business will be released once legislation is officially introduced to city council regarding the lease agreement.
As part of the potential deal, the city has budgeted $300,000 to: construct a public parking lot with at least 40 parking spaces on the former canal land located just north of the site; build a path to connect the parking lot to Blacklick Park; move overhead electric power lines; and create a pocket park at the corner of Main and Front streets.
Hall said the plans for the project are under review by city officials.
Some of the big ticket projects included in the 2013 budget are:
•$401,607 for the phase 2 construction at the Links at Groveport golf course, which includes taking out the slope by the parking lot, improving the golf cart area and handicap area, drainage work and constructing a wraparound patio at the clubhouse.
•$287,602 to replace the golf cart fleet and increase the number of carts from 68 to 78 at the Links at Groveport golf course.
•$350,000 for Groveport's share of an Ohio Department of Transportation project to resurface State Route 317 from U.S. Route 33 to approximately Saltzgaber Road.
•$150,000 to pursue the purchase of the municipal building parking lot. The lot is located just south of the municipal building along Private Alley between Elm and Blacklick streets. It is owned by a non-profit mental health agency that is looking to sell the land the parking lot sits on, as well as the house located just east of the parking lot, according to Hall. She said the $150,000 in the budget reflects the county auditor's appraisal of the value of the property. Hall said the city could pursue purchasing the parking lot land and the nearby house.
"We could create a two-tier parking lot," Hall, "or, we could raze the building, if it is not conducive to other uses, and use the land to expand the municipal building."
Green said an expanded parking lot in the area could also serve those attending events at Groveport Town Hall, which is located a few blocks to the south.
•$1.2 million for the reconstruction of 2,400 feet of Spiegel Drive from Alum Creek Drive to Port Road; and $1.2 million for the reconstruction of 2,700 feet of Port Road from Spiegel Drive to State Route 317. The city applied for Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) funding for both projects. Groveport's share of the Spiegel Drive project would be $125,619 with the remainder funded by the OPWC grant and a 30 year, no interest OPWC loan. Groveport would have no out of pocket expenses for the Port Road project as it would be funded by a combination of the OPWC grant and a 30 year, no interest OPWC loan.
Hall said the city would know by January 2013 if these funding applications are approved. If approved, construction contracts cannot be signed until after OPWC agreements are finalized by July 2013. If all goes as planned, the projects could begin by late summer or early fall of 2013 and work could be completed by early 2014.
•$350,000 for new water meters for the approximately 1,200 customers on the Groveport water system. The new meters could be read by remote from a vehicle rather than by a walking meter reader, according to Hall. She said this could enable the city to change to either monthly or bi-monthly water billing instead of quarterly.
•$35,000 for two outdoor warning sirens.
Council will hear the first reading of the 2013 budget ordinance at its Oct. 15 meeting.