Perrysburg City Council today unanimously approved a preliminary working budget for 2014 that prepares for the worst case scenario.
The city's general fund revenues have increased the past two years by the end of the year, and finance director Dave Creps said he expects the same in 2014, estimating that there will be more than $6 million left over. Mr. Creps said they will work on the final 2014 budget in March.
Budgeting for the worst case scenario initially leaves about $1.96 million in the general fund. The proposed 2014 total revenue is budgeted at about $28 million with $30 million in expenditures.
The approved preliminary budget shows nearly $1.4 million more expenses than revenue, and $507,500 that is to be used to pay off debt. The city enters 2014 with about $5.6 million in its general fund and an additional $1 million in a reserve fund.
City council member Todd Grayson asked the council to pass the budget without the additional money for a new police officer. The city administration's plan was to add a new police officer, and then re-assign an existing police officer as the school resource officer, which would be funded by Perrysburg Schools while school is in session.
Perrysburg Schools will pay $52,164 of the officer's $75,600 annual salary to work in the schools while they are in session.
Mr. Grayson said he thinks there should be more public comment and awareness on the issue first. He still voted for the 2014 budget after no one agreed to take it out of the budget.
Council member Joe Lawless expressed concern with the rising fire division's rising overtime. This year it increased by $33,000, and the 2014 budget allows for a $10,000 increase, estimating fire overtime expenses at $400,000.
The total fire division budget is estimated just above $3.1 million, which is $140,625 more than this year. The police department budget is slightly up from 2013 at $4.8 million, and nearly $70,000 more than this year.
It was Mayor Nelson Evans' final city council meeting after eight years, along with Mr. Lawless who has served on council for 16 years.
"I enjoyed serving the people of Perrysburg," Mr. Lawless said. "One thing I can say without question is every decision that was made was based on what I thought was best for the City of Perrysburg."
Several members of the city administration and council expressed gratitude to both Mr. Lawless and Mr. Evans.
"I feel blessed to be raised in this community, schooled here, and to have served here," Mayor Evans said. "It has truly, truly been a honor serving Perrysburg."