An update on the city of Groveport’s proposed 2017 budget


By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

Groveport City Council recently further reviewed the particulars of the city’s proposed 2017 budget.

“I like the vision of this budget,” said Councilwoman Jean Ann Hilbert at council’s Oct. 17 committee meeting.

City Administrator Marsha Hall said the city’s department heads did “a great job” in scaling back proposed expenditures and that capital purchases are “being kept to a minimum in 2017.”
“We do not follow the ‘Spend it or lose it’ theory of budgeting,” said Hall. “Our budget is based on what the city is actually spending. It makes no sense to create a budget that is higher than what is actually being spent.”

The proposed general fund total for 2017 is $15.9 million, up from $15.6 million in 2016.
“That’s only about a 2.4 percent increase,” said Hall.

Hall said the budget focuses on the city’s infrastructure needs.

“We concentrated on infrastructure projects that our citizens seek and want,” said Hall.

The numbers

In order to build more of a financial cushion, council directed city officials, when working on the next two years’ budgets, to add 20 percent to the general fund balance each year until it reaches an ending balance between $1.5 million to $2 million. The general fund balance at the end of 2016 is expected to be around $714,430 and about $1.4 million at the end of 2017.

The budget also increases the annual contribution to the rainy day fund from $100,000 to $150,000 with the goal of eventually reaching a balance of $2 million. The estimated 2016 year end balance for this fund is $633,333.

The budget raises the amount from income tax revenues paid to the debt service fund balance from 15 percent to 20 percent.

Proposed projects

“These are projects that definitely need done,” said Council President Shawn Cleary.

“The two largest ones are being funded by grants,” added Hall.

Projects scheduled for 2017 include:

•The $2.1 million Hendron Road reconstruction project from Main Street to Glendening Drive, which is funded by an Ohio Public Works Commission grant of $446,713, a no interest loan of $1.3 million from the county, with the remainder from local funding. This project includes storm sewers, curb and gutter, street lights, a shared use 8 foot asphalt path on the west side of the street, a sidewalk on the east side of the street, improved drive approaches, improved crosswalks and pedestrian signaling at Glendening Drive, a 12 inch water main from Main Street to Glendening Drive, and a sidewalk on the east side of the street from Glendening Drive to Cherry Blossom Drive.

•The West Bixby Road reconstruction project from Bixby Ridge Drive east to a point in front of Madison Christian School. This project is funded with an Ohio Public Works Commission grant of $407,065, a no interest loan of $254,500, and local funding of $80,000.

•East Bixby Road repavement from Ebright Road to U.S. Route 33 at an estimated cost of $433,000.

•Annual street maintenance program at an estimated cost of $450,000. Depending on funding, the streets that could possibly be done in 2017 are those in the Hanstein Addition, Elm Street from West Street to the Ace Hardware parking lot, Tallman Street near Green Street, Hendron Road north of State Route 317, Marketing Place, and the public parking lot along Wirt Road behind the Main Street businesses.

Some other projects were pushed to 2018, including:

•New water mains for the Hanstein Addition at an estimated cost of $825,000.

•Front Street water services replacement at an estimated cost of $100,000. This project involves taking properties on the east side of the street off the existing, aging 2 inch water line and tapping them into the newer 8 inch water line on the west side of the street.

•The annual $450,000 street maintenance program.

Proposed purchases

The proposed 2017 budget includes these other planned expenditures: police radios, $15,400; tuckpointing Town Hall, $10,000; senior transportation van, $11,000 (plus $44,000 from a grant); GREAT bus stop for city’s shuttle bus transportation program that serves the industrial parks, $10,000; sprayer for golf course, $60,000;  roof replacement over banquet portion of golf club house, $32,000; sidewalk replacement, $50,000 (the sidewalk repairs are not assessed to property owners); park equipment, $75,000; Fourth of July celebration, $47,500; and Apple Butter Day, $18,250.

A noted expense for 2017 is the replacement of the full fleet of golf carts at the city-owned The Links at Groveport golf course at an estimated cost of $284,262. The 78 carts will be leased for four years with the city taking ownership of the carts at the end of the lease agreement.

“We’re transitioning from electric powered carts to low emission gas powered carts,” said Director of Golf Tom Walker. “Gas carts have a longer life span. They can last six to eight years while electric carts last about four years. It’s not unheard of for gas carts to last 15 years.”

Walker said the gas powered carts get 44 miles to gallon.

“That’s about 20 rounds per tankful,” said Walker.

Walker said fees for players’ use of golf carts generates between $250,000 to $300,000 per year in revenue.

“The carts pay for themselves,” said Walker.

Council will vote on the proposed 2017 at its Nov. 14 meeting.


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