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City's preliminary 2014 budget at $700,000 shortfall PDF Print E-mail
Monday, July 01, 2013 10:01 PM

By NANCY SPENCER

Herald Editor

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DELPHOS — Delphos City Council will face some tough decisions in the coming months after approving the preliminary 2014 Budget presented by Auditor Tom Jettinghoff, which includes $2.7 million in revenues to cover $3.4 million in expenditures. The preliminary budget must be filed with the county by July 15.

 

Finance Committee Chair Joe Martz asked that city administration prepare the fund breakdowns in preparation for a committee meeting in early August.

 

“I don’t think we can wait until Fall to start looking at this,” Martz said. “We need to start making a plan now on where to make up that $700,000.”

Quickly following the sober budget news were fund balances as of June 30 with the water account $79,000 in the red.

“We need to take a hard look at our expenditures versus revenue right now,” Jettinghoff stressed.

Safety Service Director Greg Berquist also had bad news about the wastewater treatment plant and failing membranes.

“Our plant is coming up on eight years old and the current condition of our membranes have reduced our capacity,” Berquist said. “Our membrane plates are not functioning as expected and need to be replaced before the warranty is up.”

Berquist laid out options to maximize the plant’s capacity, including a bare minimum of replacing a full train of plates at $300,000.

“We knew we were going to have to do this; just not this soon,” Berquist added.

Other work includes an upgrade to the plant’s computer system at $66,000 and separating the air handlers at a cost of $130,000.

Berquist said he is working on Ohio Public Works and Direct Emergency Financial Assistance (EPA) grants to cover some of the cost of the upgrades.

“Neither of those will be available until next year but with engineering and other pre-project activity, that should be about right,” Berquist said. “Something needs to be done so at the end of the day, the EPA is happy.”

Council heard on first reading legislation allowing Berquist to prepare and submit application for OPWC State Capital Improvement and/or Local Transportation Improvement programs with the city’s share being 20 percent to help cover the cost of the wastewater treatment plant upgrades.

Council also heard on first reading a measure allowing Berquist to apply for OPWC funds for an East Second Street capital improvement project from Douglas Street to Main Street. The proposed project is estimated at $188,757 with the city’s share $37,751.

On second reading, council heard legislation addressing residents who fail to maintain their properties to city ordinances. The proposed ordinance raises the charge to have uncontrolled vegetation growth removed by the city to include but not be limited to: $200 minimum for the first hour or any increment thereof and $100 for any hour any increment thereof after the first hour and a $50 administrative fee. Currently, the city does the work for $50 per hour and a $25 administrative fee.

Also heard on second reading was a resolution to donate one family season pass valued at $195 to Community Health Professionals for the annual banquet.

Council accepted the resignation of Fire Chief Dave McNeal. His last day will be Jan. 3, 2014.

In other business, Councilman Rick Hanser asked about the new Cass Street water loop.

Berquist explained the water is flowing properly and testing has shown the quality as good as anywhere in the city.

Councilman Josh Gillespie questioned what the situation was with the signage at the new liquor establishment on Main Street.

Berquist said the owner, Paul Lehmkuhle, is in the process of filing variance paperwork for thesign.

“He has a certain amount of time to turn that in and we’ll go from there,” Berquist said.He added that currently, the signage is in the right-of-way.

Last Updated on Monday, July 01, 2013 10:03 PM
 

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