Groveport Council approves 2022 city budget

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By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

Groveport City Council has approved the city’s 2022 budget, which is leaner than in years’ past.

Though the budget is trimmer, city officials said there will be no loss of services nor are any projects being postponed.

Budget overview
“The proposed 2022 budget reflects continued investment in public infrastructure improvements and the continuation of quality services provided to the community,” said Groveport City Administrator B.J. King. “All combined, the 2022 budget shows a reduction of nearly $8 million when compared to the overall budget for 2021.”

Total estimated appropriations for 2022 are $41.9 million, which is down about 16 percent from $49.9 million in 2021.

Since there will be no loss of services or projects in the reduced budget, what kinds of things were cut instead?

“This budget cycle directors did a tremendous job of identifying budgets they can operate within,” said King. “Discussions were held with each director to determine how critical certain items for their budget. We will still have an annual road improvement program, will complete sidewalk repairs, will continue brush and leaf pickup, and so on…This budget truly targets the needs of the city.”

Total estimated generated revenues for 2022 are $35.7 million, which is down 7.9 percent from $38.8 million in 2021.

“The anticipated combined revenue for all funds is down $3.1 million,” said King. “However, the issuance of debt last year, which is considered revenue, skews the total estimated revenue for 2021. The reduced revenue is attributed to the reduction of debt proceeds issued in 2021 for the construction of the two new Main Street buildings. Debt proceeds must be reflected in a budget as revenue, which was the case in 2021.”

The general fund revenue for 2021 is estimated at $16.4 million, which is up from $15.7 million in 2021. The bulk of this funding comes from income tax revenue, which is projected to be $14.8 million in 2022 compared to $14.2 million in 201.

Other estimated 2022 revenues include $514,800 from property taxes and various other amounts in other city fund categories that include grants, taxes, leases, fees, and permits.

Capital improvement projects
Significant projects and purchases proposed for 2022 include:
•$300,000 for street maintenance;

•$185,000 for a two and a half ton snow truck and $140,000 for a front end loader;

•$1 million for cart path replacement and $600,000 for a maintenance building at the Groveport Municipal Golf Course;

•$420,000 for the Hickory and Brook alleys storm alley drainage project;

•$188,000 for safety improvements at Groveport Road and State Route 317;

•$30,000 for sidewalk replacements;

•$70,000 for curb ramp upgrades on Main Street;

•$15,000 for Marketing Place reconstruction and $15,000 for Director’s Boulevard reconstruction.

Additionally, $1.2 million is budgeted for interior build outs on the new Rarey’s Port and Wert’s Grove buildings on Main Street.

Groveport Finance Director Jason Carr said the $1.2 million amount cannot be exceeded unless approved by council and disbursement is expected in February 2022.

“The city is providing basic fixed equipment that will stay in the buildings in the event one of the tenants leaves,” said Groveport Development Director Jeff Green. “The tenants will provide most of their own equipment.”

Green said the type of equipment the city is purchasing includes hoods, sinks, and walk-in coolers.

“The city is not paying for interior design,” said Green. “The city has negotiated with the tenants to provide a ‘warm vanilla shell’ that will include restrooms and drywall. Then tenants will pay for their own designs and ‘front of house’ finishes and all furniture and fixtures.”

Green added that the second floor interior of the buildings will be completed once the first floor is complete and the tenants are moved in and in operation.

“We anticipate part of the basic finishing of the second floors will be part of the 2023 budget,” said Green.

Construction is progressing on the 14,145 square foot Rarey’s Port (674 Main St.) and the 12,184 square foot Wert’s Grove (480 Main St.) buildings that are part of the city of Groveport’s 1847 Main Project. Construction is expected to be completed on the buildings in the spring of 2022.

Other proposed appropriations
The proposed 2022 general fund appropriations are estimated at $20.1 million, which is up from $18.2 million in 2021. Some other proposed 2020 appropriations:

•Revenue sharing with Groveport Madison Schools, $1.3 million;

•Various parks improvements, $75,000;

•Funding for festivals in 2022 includes $50,275 for the Fourth of July; $19,000 for Christmas – A Heritage Holiday; $25,086 for Apple Butter Day; and $4,000 for the Halloween block party; and

•Donation of $25,000 to Motts Military Museum.

“The Motts Military Museum is a tremendous asset for the community as it serves as a tourist destination,” said King.

Council is considering legislation to authorize an annual $25,000 donation to Motts Military Museum for each of the next five years.

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