Groveport’s city budget proposes a busy year in 2020

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By Rick Palsgrove
Southeast Editor

The city of Groveport’s proposed 2020 budget is packed with projects and purchases.

The general fund revenue for 2020 is estimated at $16.4 million, which is up from the estimated $16.1 million in 2019. The bulk of this funding comes from income tax revenue, which is projected to be $14.7 million in 2020 compared to $14.5 million in 2018.

“We’re expecting a six percent increase in income tax revenue from 2019 to 2020,” said Groveport Finance Director Jason Carr.

Other revenues include $350,000 from property taxes and various other amounts in other city fund categories that include grants, taxes, leases, fees, and permits.

“The proposed budget continues to meet city council’s financial objectives,” wrote Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall in her budget report to Groveport City Council. “This can be evidenced by the calculated 20 percent general fund carryover exceeding requirements by $349,182, or $2.5 million. This unappropriated balance may only be expended upon a future budget amendment approved by council.”

The rainy day fund balance is expected to reach $1.8 million by the end of 2020.

“The $2 million threshold will be met by 2021,” wrote Hall in her report.

Council is considering raising the recreation center capital account fund (where money is set aside from the center’s gross revenues to fund interior and exterior improvements to the building as well as the purchase of equipment) from three percent to five percent.

“As the recreation center gets older it’s better to have some money set aside for improvements,” said Hall.

Water and sewer rates
Hall said it is estimated the contingency in the water fund will grow in 2020.

“After review, it’s been decided not to request an increase in water rates at this time,” said Hall.

Hall said sewer usage and clean river charges required by the city of Columbus are not set as Columbus has not determined its sewer rate increase yet.

“Any sewer rate increase will be determined once we are aware of Columbus’ final rates,” said Hall.

Proposed projects
Some projects proposed in the 2020 budget are:

•Maintenance barn at The Links golf course, $250,000;
•West Bixby Road rehabilitation, $112,000;
•South Hamilton Road at Higgins Boulevard phases 1 and 2: $406,000 and $345,000;
•Toy Road improvements, $90,000;
•Alum Creek Drive/Rohr Road intersection, $332,000;
•ADA improvements at Main and College streets, $130,000;
•Old Hamilton Road resurfacing: phase 1 from State Route 317 to just past Founders Bend Drive, $222,000 and phase 2 from south of Founders Bend Drive to near Lowry Court, $290,000.
•Aquatics alternate water supply, $100,000 (to help in filling the city’s indoor and outdoor swimming pools);
•Engineering for a new elevated water tank, $100,000 (the city is considering constructing a second water tower in 2022 at a cost of $1.2 million);
•Main Street curb ramps upgrades, $50,000;
•Annual street maintenance program, $475,000 plus $105,000 from storm water fund (streets slated for resurfacing in 2020 include East Bixby Road from Old Hamilton Road east to Dorchester, Glendening Drive, Bay Grove Court, Briar Grove Court, and Saw Grove Court);
•Log house exterior, $15,000;
•Town Hall elevator upgrades, $80,000.

“This elevator has failed several times in the past year,” said Hall. “It’s used all the time because the meeting rooms are on the second and third floors of the building.”

•Neighborhood parks development, $75,000.

Other proposed appropriations
The proposed 2020 general fund appropriations are estimated at $17.4 million, which is down from $18.4 million in 2019.

Some of the other proposed appropriations in 2020:
•Revenue sharing with schools, $1 million;
•Two outfitted replacement police cruisers, $142,100;
•Re-branding, including signage, of The Links at Groveport golf course, $40,000, if the course is re-named Groveport Municipal Golf Course;
•Phase 1 environmental study and an architectural study for the city owned property on the northwest corner of Main and College streets, $25,000;
•The city’s Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) is slated to receive $25,000 to aid in the search for downtown business development.

“We have to do something with our downtown vacant properties,” said Councilman Ed Dildine. “We need to move forward.”

•Bixford Green leisure path; $180,000;
•Funding for festivals in 2020 includes $59,000 for the Fourth of July, $19,000 for the Christmas – A Heritage Holiday, and $18,000 for Apple Butter Day;
•New podium at Groveport Cemetery, $15,000.

Next step
“It’s great for our city to be in the position to do a lot of these things,” said Dildine of the proposed 2020 appropriations. “We’ve got a lot going on.”
Council will vote on the 2020 city budget at its Nov. 12 meeting.

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