Groveport Village Council appears satisfied with the town’s proposed $24 million 2008 budget.
At its Nov. 19 committee of the whole meeting, council members had only a few minor questions regarding next year’s fiscal plan.
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.
Departmental budget highlights include: police, $2.1 million (a 2.65 percent increase over 2007); cemetery, $16,500; community affairs, $447,722 (a 10.05 percent decrease from 2007); senior center, $85,674; senior transportation, $258,177; mayor’s office, $133,586; council, $131,289; administration, $947,075; finance, $1.2 million; economic development, $209,201; law, $145,292; recreation center, $1.6 million; parks, $568,352; aquatic, $367,289; golf, $394,305; golf maintenance, $607,300; street, $905,718; water, $418,549; sewer, $220,688; water capital fund, $1.5 million; sewer capital fund, $200,000; building department, $510,083;
The following street projects are outlined in the capital project plan:
•Madison Street reconstruction in 2008 at an estimated cost of $605,680.
•Greenpointe Drive extension in 2008 at $200,000.
•Rohr Road widening in 2008 at $1.03 million.
•Kessler Street reconstruction in 2009 at an estimated cost of $795,000.
•Lesleh Street reconstruction in 2010 at an estimated cost of $805,000.
•Traffic signals at Groveport Road and Greenpointe Drive in 2009 at an estimated cost of $279,000; and at Port Road and Rohr Road in 2012 at an estimated cost of $307,000.
Other proposed street projects include:
•street and alley resurfacing beginning in 2010 at $150,000 and increasing to $250,000 in 2011-12;
•sidewalks at $15,000 per year for five years;
•curb and gutter replacement at $60,000 a year for five years;
•a turn lane on Groveport Road at Groveport Park in 2010-11 at an estimated cost of $263,000;
•and Hamilton Road widening from Bixby Road to Lowry Court for $1.4 million in 2011 and from Lowry Court to the railroad in 2012 for $826,000.
The proposed 2008 village budget, as well as the five year capital improvement plan, may be viewed by the public at the Groveport Municipal Building, 655 Blacklick St.