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01-22-04: Celina councilors ready to cut budget


Celina City Council members are trimming the 2004 budget by cutting funds across all departments, eliminating one paid position and not issuing any cost of living raises to employees.
Council members are set to have the first reading of this year’s appropriations at Monday’s regular meeting.
During several budget meetings in January and December, council members slowly cut the budget to meet expected revenues.
On the draft to be considered Monday, the total for the general fund is listed as $5,298,085, down from the 2003 appropriation of $5.42 million, and down from this year’s department request of $5.68 million.
The general fund supports all city activities that are not covered in the water, sewer or electric fund. The biggest general fund expenses are police, fire, streets and parks departments.
Committee members and city administration reduced the budget by not including capital funds for large purchases or construction and by removing small amounts from the police, fire, streets and city engineer departments. Also, the mayor’s executive secretary, Diane Link, was asked to resign, Safety Service Director Mike Sovinski said, and there are no planned pay raises for 2004.
Other general fund levels for 2004 include:
• Police department, $1,026,278, which is $18,000 more than 2003 appropriations.
• Fire department, $878,334, which is $8,000 more than last year.
• Street department, $211,760, which is $103,000 less than last year.
• Parks department, $441,137, which is $10,000 less than last year.
• Miscellaneous accounts, $279,986, which is $4,000 less than last year.
• Mayor’s account, $25,000, which is $9,000 less than last year.
In the electric department, which is totally self-sustaining, $11.4 million is set to be appropriated, down from the 2003 appropriation of $13 million. The current funding level would leave approximately $3 million in electric funds unappropriated.
In the water department, which also runs strictly on funds generated from sales, $1,557,451 is listed, down from $1.9 million in 2003.
In the sewer department, $1.5 million is listed, down from $1.8 million in 2003.
For all funds the appropriations total $24.2 million, down from the grand total of $37 million appropriated in 2003.
The difference from the 2003 total and the estimated 2004 total is partly caused by council’s decision to break-out capital expenses from the regular operating budget. Accompanying the operations budget ordinance Monday night will be an ordinance setting all capital purchases and projects at nearly $5.4 million.
The capital ordinance sets aside $140,000 for street repairs, $3,500 in parks improvements, $3.9 million in electric upgrades, $1.2 million for water plant engineering and water tower construction costs, $89,000 in sewer upgrades and other smaller projects.


Phone: (419)586-2371,   Fax: (419)586-6271
All content copyright 2004
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P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822


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