Groveport reviews 2008 budget

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Groveport Village Council has begun reviewing the village’s proposed $24 million 2008 budget.

According to Village Administrator Jon Crusey, under the proposed budget, general fund expenditures are recommended at $10.49 million, which is a 15.39 percent increase over 2007. Included in this is a $900,000 transfer to the capital improvement fund.

Crusey also reported that the budget "also includes new budgeted expenditures as required by the auditor of state for school income tax revenue sharing, of $900,000; and the cost of income tax collections by the city of Columbus of $80,000."

Some budget highlights include:

•the greatest percentage of general fund expenditures are 23 percent for the police department and 17 percent for recreation and parks;

•income tax collections for 2007 are estimated to increase by 9.5 percent over 2006, which is 4.5 percent greater than the revenue projections that were used to generate the 2007 budget; for 2008, income tax revenues are "conservatively" projected to increase by 5 percent;

•income tax collections account for nearly 70 percent of the general fund’s revenue;

•water rates are projected to increase 7.9 percent in 2008 to finance $1.5 million in public improvements including water tank repairs, new water tower, line replacement on Seymour Avenue, and general maintenance and repairs;

•sewer rates are projected to increase 6.4 percent to continue to offset rate increases by the city of Columbus;

•a consideration of adjusting the top end only of various pay ranges for village employees by 2.8 percent to keep pace with the same amount of increase in the Consumer Price Index; by increasing only the top end, only those employees who have topped out, or are near topping out, of their pay scale would be affected; there would be no across the board increase as pay increases would still be based on merit.

Council will discuss the proposed budget in more detail at its committee of the whole meeting on Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the municipal building, 655 Blacklick St.

Other Groveport financial news

•Finance Director Ken Salak reported that village income tax revenues for October 2007 were down 14.49 percent compared to October 2006. Year to date, the village’s income tax revenues of $8.4 million are 9.52 percent higher than at this time in 2006.

•At its Nov. 13 meeting, council heard the second reading of an ordinance to adjust the village employees’ share of health insurance premiums from 10 percent to 9.4 percent. The change is being made so the employees do not realize an increase in their health insurance premiums as a result of the village’s new health plan with Medical Mutual of Ohio.

The change to Medical Mutual of Ohio was made because the village’s previous health insurance carrier, Anthem, quoted the village a price of $801,973, an increase of $121,472, or 17.85 percent, over the previous contract.

The Medical Mutual of Ohio price was only a $25,710, or 3.78 percent, increase over the existing contract.

•Also on Nov. 13, council heard the first reading of an ordinance for the purchase of three police cruisers.

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