City Council held a second discussion about the 2019 budget during its Nov. 27 meeting.
There was continued discussion regarding the appropriate year-end balances for Funds 103 and 104, the pension funds for the Police and Fire departments. City officials also discussed funding for the Big Four Depot. In past years, $50,000 was appropriated annually and an increase to $100,000 is proposed in 2019.
Mayor Tom O’Leary clarified it was his decision to increase the appropriation. “I feel the building has urgent needs we must address,” he said, noting mechanical and electrical systems need work after the exterior shell is restored (using existing appropriations).
Ultimately, Council passed Ord. 2018-71 as a second reading 5-0. Council members Shirley Clark and Tom Fellner were absent. A Committee of the Whole meeting was scheduled for Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. for another budget discussion prior to the final reading.
Council also approved three first readings authorizing various grant applications:
- FAA grant for an airport lighting project. $64,442 with a local match of $3,580.
- MARC grant to purchase radios for the Fire Department. Thirteen agencies in the county are applying in order to get all emergency responders on the same radio system. $50,000 with no match required.
- FEMA grant to purchase two power cots for the Fire Department. $88,000 with a local match of $4,190.
Council passed a final reading for Res. 2018-13, an agreement with the Assistant Law Director fixing the total retirement payout for unpaid sick, vacation, and personal leave. The total amount is $20,766.
In a related ordinance, council also passed the first reading for an agreement with the Crawford County Prosecutor’s Office to provide prosecutorial services to the city beginning Jan. 1, 2019, after the current assistant law director retires. The contract amount is $35,000 per year. Law Director Thomas Palmer noted this will be a cost savings for the city, as the assistant law director’s salary had been $52,000 per year plus benefits.
A second reading passed to contract with Richland County Public Health for plumbing inspection services. A first reading passed for an alley vacation located south of Harding Way West, behind the West Side Car Wash.
A first reading passed to approve recommendations from the Treasury Investment Board. $1.2 million is to be invested in a STAR Ohio account to receive a higher rate of return.