Groveport keeping an eye on finances; license fee decision postponed

By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

Groveport city officials made some financial adjustments to help monitor city spending.

One action included the creation of a senior center fund to account for revenues and expenses at the Groveport Senior Center. Previously the senior center funding was included in the recreation fund.

“Pulling the senior center fund out of the recreation fund enables us to better track and understand costs for the senior center,” said Groveport City Administrator B.J. King.

Also, Groveport Finance Director Jason Carr said the economic effects of the pandemic have impacted the amount of the unrestricted carryover balance of 20 percent of unappropriated funds in the city’ general fund. He said, including the Rainy Day Fund balance of $1.9 million, the city has $2.5 million in unappropriated money that requires Groveport City Council approved prior to spending.

“This is a decrease of $1.5 million from last year,” said Carr.

Carr also said the city’s main revenue source is income taxes, of which council requires 10 percent of the total monthly income tax collections go to the capital projects fund.

This fund includes money for capital improvements such as the street maintenance program, road resurfacing, and more.

However, based on lower income tax collections in 2020, Carr said the capital projects fund has decreased from $4.8 million to $3.8 million.

“We believe that outstanding 2020 projects to be completed in 2021, along with new projects in 2021, will have sufficient funding to be paid, however, this must be monitored if unexpected contingencies are identified along with additional projects not originally budgeted,” said Carr.

License fee decision postponed
Council voted to “postpone indefinitely” a decision on legislation to enact the collection of an additional $5 from motor vehicle license registration fees.

Mayor Lance Westcamp favored enacting the fee because he said it would bring more money back into the community to be used locally. He noted city revenues are down significantly compared to this time in 2020 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the city must take advantage of all available revenue sources.

The state legislature passed the $5 fee earlier this year. But council members indicated they do not favor instituting the motor vehicle license registration fee at this time. It is the second time council voted to postpone a decision on the fee. Council considered this legislation last spring, but postponed it then because of the potential adverse economic impact it could have on the public due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

This second vote to postpone indicates council still feels the same way about the issue as it did last spring.

“Estimates provided by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission show that Groveport could collect an additional $59,000 if this tax was to be levied,” said King.

Carr said money from the motor vehicle license registration fees would be used for paving and improvements to arterial roads, such as Main Street, Rohr Road, Hendron Road, Bixby Road, and others.

“You always have the option to reconsider it in the future,” Carr told council.

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