$16.67M budget presented to Wellington council

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JONATHAN DELOZIER
REPORTER

A $16.67 million village budget for the coming year includes roughly $60,000 in deficit spending.

But officials say that number may be reduced throughout 2019 by Regional Income Tax Assessment collections.

Projected village revenue sits at $16.60 million in a final budget draft presented Dec. 17 to village council with a cash reserve balance of nearly $7.5 million.

“We tried to remain very conservative with RITA collection projections in this draft,” said village manager Steve Dupee. “I can see that $60,000 coming down drastically. Passing Issue 34 was of the utmost importance and those funds will provide us with a lot more breathing room that we had before.”

Wellington’s general fund was the biggest benefactor of Issue 34’s passage, which raised the village income tax rate to 1.75 percent and enacted an equal tax credit for residents who work and pay local taxes in another municipality.

General fund projected revenue sits at $3,293,369 with expenses at $3,347,200 and a cash reserve of $919,413.

If Issue 34 had been rejected by voters, Dupee said the general fund would have faced mounting six-figure deficits that reached $543,000 by 2022.

Expected general fund expenses include increased police wage costs compensating for the hiring of two full-time officers to replace part-time ones and increased benefits costs from $390,000 to $459,000 stemming from those staffing changes.

A replacement of the ground water storage tank on Erie Steet and raw water pumping station on Jones Road is expected to take place over the next year, with both projects costs’ totalling $1.2 million.

However, the village will only pay $142,000 up front because of grant and low-interest loans from the Ohio Public Works Commission and Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

The water fund’s cash balance sits at $208,743 as of the end of November. Revenue projected for 2019 sits at $2,072,950, which is about $40,000 above projected expenses.

“Getting the water tank and pumping station done is something we’ve wanted to do for a long, long time,” Dupee said. “It along with planning our new police station are the biggest village projects on the horizon in the new year.”

Officials expect planning for the new police station to be completed throughout 2019 before renovation begins in 2020 on the back portion of the building, which is located at 147 and 149 East Herrick Ave.

A $465,000 purchase of the property has been approved by council with renovations and new construction expected to total roughly $1 million.

The village’s capital improvement fund holds a cash reserve of $1.24 million with $448,000 in expenses and $494,720 in revenue expected in 2019.

“Our residents decided to help us out by passing the tax levy and we want to follow through and show them we’re going to be good stewards of that money,” said mayor Hans Schneider. “A big part of that is showing them that the process of getting this new police station is moving along.”

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