The police budget took the biggest hit when Genoa Village Council scrutinized details of the proposed 2013 budget.
An estimated $30,000 was taken out of the capital improvements fund. “We’re not going to have a new car this year,” said Administrator Kevin Gladden.
The department will also transfer its computer system coverage back to Liberty Consulting, the firm that services the other village computer systems. The police department recently upgraded its technology and had used another company, Gladden explained.
However, there have been some occasional service and Internet issues, he said. So members of the finance committee decided it was best for the police department to return to the fold with the other departments and cut that added expense.
Police Chief Bob Bratton, who returned recently to work part-time after breaking his right ankle days after Christmas, said he worked out the changes with the administration. His budget is slightly more than $480,000.
He said the department may have to nurse one particular cruiser along through the year.
“We have low mileage but we have had some issues with it. With some good maintenance and God willing, we should be able to make it to next year,” Bratton said of the vehicle.
Bratton said he sacrificed the new car because he wanted to prevent cuts in the salary line items for now. “Cuts in the salaries hurt everybody,” the chief said.
A review of the police and fire pension contributions also caused council to set some boundaries.
“The committee decided to cap that at 10 percent,” Gladden said.
The administrator said that the village matches employee contribution up to 10 percent. He said the current pension contribution figure is hovering somewhere now between 9 and 10 percent. “But from what they have said it could go up to about 11 percent here within the next three years,” Gladden said. Any amount above the cap will then be the employee’s responsibility.
Discussions on raises are on hold for now.
“The money has been built into the budget, but they won’t get into really talking about it until April,” Gladden explained.
Employee raises don’t come from one central fund. So council set aside 3 percent in various funds such as the water, sewer, electric and general funds to cover staffers under the direction of the respective offices. But that percentage amount is not guaranteed, Gladden noted.
Raises for council, the police chief and administrator are not part of that package.
“I don’t know about any raises coming down the line for those right now. I am not aware of any negotiations taking place for them,” he added.
Council had a public hearing to review the final budget at 7 p.m. Monday, prior to the regular council meeting. No one from the public showed.
The second reading of the budget then took place during the regular meeting. The third and final reading is set for March 18. By Ohio law, council must pass the budget by March 31.
Two major projects in the budget include Phase 6 of the Northwest Storm Sewer Project and Phase 2 of the Washington Street reconstruction project.
The village’s share runs about $400,000 for both projects combined. State Issue 2 funds will pick up the remainder of the costs.