The Press Newspaper
Genoa Village Council had its first reading Monday of the $8.5 million temporary budget to cover 2013 expenses.
According to Ohio law, municipalities must pass a temporary budget by year’s end and then OK a final budget by March 31. Two more readings are expected before passage.
There are no real surprises in the budget for the coming year, said Village Administrator Kevin Gladden.
About $400,000 was put aside in anticipation of the village’s share in two major projects – the Phase 6 of the Northwest Storm Sewer Project and Phase 2 of the Washington Street reconstruction.
The village is awaiting word on Issue 2 grant funding applications submitted on behalf of both projects. It’ll be January before those award winners are chosen, according to Gino Monaco, one of the local committee members who grade the projects.
“But we have to put our share of the monies in the budget beforehand,” Gladden explained.
Village leaders’ plan for some capital improvements also show up in the temporary budget.
An estimated $70,000 has been designated for the repair of the Genoa Town Hall elevator. “The elevator is over 40 years old. There are going to be a lot of switch and relay changes besides other expenses,” Gladden said.
The village is also anticipating construction of new park bathroom. About $60,000 will be needed for the new building that will replace the old bathhouse at Veteran’s Park. Poggemeyer Design Group of Bowling Green is still working on the designs for the new building.
And finally, another $23,000 will be needed to upgrade the billing software, Gladden said. “That system is not very supportive. The tax and finance system will be next.”
One of the larger budget jumps occurred in the police department finances.
Genoa Police Chief Robert Bratton said the estimated $510,000 department budget helps meet the needs of the town.
Last year, council gave Bratton, who was hired just over a year ago, permission to hire two part-time officers. That brings his department total to six, including the chief. The shift of the three full-time officers are supplemented with the part-time officers allowing the department to cover 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Bratton said.
But that addition of manpower and raises expenses.
“When you increase staff, you increase patrols. You increase gas use. You increase maintenance,” Bratton said. “And we don’t know what the price of gas is going to be. The finance department has built in cushions for the gas and maintenance.”
Patrol cars are now equipped with the NORIS computer system. That allows patrol officers to search police reports throughout Northwest Ohio as well as get other information such as driver’s license background checks and Social Security numbers without tying up dispatchers, the chief noted. It costs $3,700 annually for system operation and updates, he said.
Bratton would also like to see cameras mounted in the vehicles -- for the protection of both the officer and individuals they encounter.
The big purchase next year could be a patrol vehicle, the chief said.
“In January, before the final March budget gets approved, we’re going to look at that possibility,” the chief said.
The force currently has three vehicles in its carpool. The newest is a 2011 model. The 2009 car is currently undergoing a transmission repair. And the third vehicle, a 2007 model, runs good and has logged about 78,000 miles, the chief said.
“We feel comfortable with what we have now, but we need to look ahead,” Bratton explained.