Groveports 2009 budget at $23.2 million

The village of Groveport is hammering out its proposed $23.2 million 2009 budget.

The 2009 budget, down slightly from 2008’s $23.6 million in appropriations, includes $795,000 for the Kessler Street reconstruction project, slated for 2009; and $110,000 for engineering the Lesleh Avenue reconstruction project, with construction expected to take place in 2010.
Also featured in the budget is $60,000 for 3,000 linear feet of curb and gutter replacement in the village and $15,000 for sidewalk work.

Other items of note mentioned by Finance Director Ken Salak at Groveport Village Council’s Nov. 17 committee of the whole meeting include:

•an estimated 12 to 15 percent increase in employee benefit costs;

•community service grants of $25,000 to Motts Military Museum and $20,000 to the local service organization Go Groveport!;

•an estimated $1.4 million in income tax revenue sharing for Groveport Madison Local Schools.

Departmental appropriations

Some proposed departmental budgets for 2009 (2008 budget in parenthesis) are:

•Police, $2.3 million; ($2.1 million).
•Cemetery, $45,000; ($16,500). The increase includes money for tombstone repairs and $16,000 for an imaging camera to locate unmarked graves.
•Community Affairs, $472,361, ($447,722).
•Senior Center, $90,399; ($85,674).
•Senior Transportation, $279,548;  ($258,177).
•Administration, $991,090; ($955,324).
•Finance, $1.9 million; ($1.5 million).
•Economic Development, $224,856; ($209,201).
•Recreation Center, $1.5 million; ($1.6 million).
•Parks, $640,076; ($568,352).
•Aquatic Center, $379,571; ($367,289).
•Golf, $393,915; ($397,305).
•Golf Maintenance, $1.2 million; ($900,000).
•Street, $925,960; ($905,718).
•Capital Projects, $1.4 million; ($3.2 million).
•Water, $365,945; ($418,549).
•Sewer, $229,562; ($220,688).
•Water Capital, $758,257; ($1.5 million).
•Sewer Capital, $1.5 million; ($2.3 million).
•Building, $516,916; ($510,083).

Money talk

Noting that many department budgets have increases for 2009, Councilman Shawn Cleary stated, "The department heads need to look at maintaining or at cutting a little bit. We need to watch what we spend."

Salak replied, "We don’t spend everything we appropriate."

But Cleary was still concerned stating, "If one of our big warehouse employers pulls the plug on their business I don’t want us to be up the creek without a paddle."

Following the meeting Cleary added, "I want to see us conserve, conserve, conserve."

During the meeting Cleary also observed that he would like to see Madison Township step up and contribute more to services the township uses such as senior transportation and Go Groveport.

A debate also arose over the potential purchase of three new police cruisers.

"I think three new cruisers is overkill. Why do we need three?" Cleary questioned. "We have eight cruisers that are under 50,000 miles."

He further noted that other police departments use vehicles with much higher mileage than what Groveport uses.

Police Chief Gary York said the three cars are needed because: several of the existing cruisers have high mileage; it lessens the impact on maintenance; and there are safety issues with older vehicles.

Councilwoman Jean Ann Hilbert said the village has a policy of rotating in new police cruisers to head off potential problems.

"Plus we want our patrolmen in the best cars we can put them in," said Hilbert.

Councilman Ed Dildine agreed, "It’s better to be proactive. We’re fortunate to have the money for them available now. We don’t know what 2010 could bring."
Council will hear the third reading and vote on the proposed 2009 budget at its Nov. 24 meeting.

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