By Rick Palsgrove
The city of Groveport is preparing for its financial future.
According to City Administrator B.J. King and City Finance Director Jason Carr, the city’s “Financial Forecast & Overview thru December 31, 2024,” provides revenue projections, expense information, and fund balance data.
“We will use this report as a baseline for planning our 2023 budget and capital improvements,” King said at Groveport City Council’s July 25 meeting.
Per the report, income tax revenues as of the end of 2022 are projected to be $17.9 million, which is $267,025 less than received in 2021. Income taxes are the city’s largest and primary source of revenue.
“The slight decrease is attributed to seasonality of the summer months as well as a conservative approach to projecting revenues,” said King.
The report states the city “must continue” to retain and seek new businesses (which generate income tax revenue) to Groveport. The report further notes, “Many programs offered by the city are not self-supporting and rely on the general fund to supplement operations.”
The city’s estimated income tax revenue in 2023 is $18.3 million and in 2024 it is expected to be $18.6 million.
Water and sewer
The city’s last water rate increase was a 3 percent hike in 2018-19.
According to King and Carr, since the hiring of the city’s new public services director, the operations relating to general and preventative maintenance of the water and sewer systems has changed. This resulted in increased costs for the water and sewer funds “to address the current and future issues with our aged water, sewer, and stormwater lines.”
They noted salaries and benefits in this area have increased as employee responsibilities have grown.
Per King and Carr, “However, utility rate increases have not occurred in several years. For the 2023 budget, a strong consideration will need to be made to increase utility rates to address the increase in expected costs.”
Items of note in the financial forecast
•Since 2012, the city has completed $27.6 million in capital improvement projects.
•Expenditures are expected to begin increasing by 8 percent based on inflation and increases in salaries and benefits in 2022.
•When the city-owned, newly built Rarey’s Port and Wert’s Grove buildings are operational, the financial forecast notes a “strain on the general fund to subsidize these buildings’ operations, combined with other city facilities, will draw down carryover balances significantly.” The forecast states that general fund appropriations will “have to be prioritized to avoid significant draw down of carryover fund balances.”
•The recreation center and outdoor aquatic center are 25 years old and will soon require improvements. The recreation center has roof issues, the outdoor pool floor needs painted, and pool plumbing needs addressed.
To see a full copy of the “Financial Forecast & Overview thru December 31, 2024,” contact the Groveport Municipal Building at 614-836-5301. The municipal building is located at 655 Blacklick St.