City of Canal Winchester’s finances strong in spite of pandemic

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By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

Keeping a healthy fund expenditure balance in Canal Winchester accounts is helping the city weather the pandemic with a strong financial status.

City Finance Director Amanda Jackson likes to see at least six months of resources, but is projecting to end the year with a nine-month balance.

“I can’t stress enough how strong we are,” Jackson told Canal Winchester City Council on Nov. 2.

Jackson said the city expends between 10 to 20 percent below what it expects in revenue.

“Not many cities have a financial balance like this,” said Councilman Bob Clark. “It didn’t happen overnight. It had to be a lot of leadership over the years.”

Total general fund appropriations for 2021 is $11.7 million. The fund is fueled by income and property taxes, development and building fees, and court fines. It pays for any city expenditure such as the sheriff’s contract, parks, public works, construction services and the community center.

Overall, salaries and benefits in 2021 for 21 full time employees, seasonal employees, an intern, and eight elected officials accounts for 23.3 percent of the total general fund appropriations, which is nearly $2.5 million.

Contracts with the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement and Franklin and Fairfield county commissioners for prison housing, along with Labor Day security costs and the purchase/outfitting of a new vehicle total $1.56 million.

Recreation and development general fund appropriations, including staff, are each around $616,000; public service/lands and buildings is $855,875; community affairs is $119,925 for one employee, the community newsletter and city sponsored event expenses; and $1.5 million for construction services.

Other CW city news
•Council is moving ahead with an ordinance authorizing a contract with Robert Half International to temporarily fill the vacant council clerk position after determining it was in the council’s best interest to contract with an outside agency. The ordinance was deemed necessary in order to fill the position immediately, albeit temporarily, until a permanent replacement is selected. The employment company will bill the city for services provided by their assigned clerk.

“This is to get someone in there as soon as possible,” said Councilman Mike Coolman.
Under the terms of the contract, council has the power to hire the company-assigned temporary clerk on a permanent basis as well as terminate their employment at no cost if they do not work out during the first eight hours on the job.

•In a written report to council, streets, lands and buildings Manager Shawn Starcher said, “Crews have been extremely busy collecting leaves for our residents with nearly 140 tons collected to date between our two leaf trucks and the street sweeper.”

Canal Winchester crews conduct the city’s annual leaf removal service from the first week in October through the first week in December.

According to Canal Winchester’s leaf removal policy, the service is free for all residents located inside the corporation limit, although residents cannot schedule leaf removal.

A pair of city crews are sent out to remove leaves on two established routes, which are fully completed before the crews double back over the routes.

To allow for proper drainage, leaves should be raked to the edge of the grass just above the curb, but not down in the gutter pan. Only leaves raked to the curb will be removed.

Sticks, tree trimmings, bushes and other yard waste will not be removed as it could damage equipment. For information, visit www.canalwinchesterohio.gov or call 614-834-5100.

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