Perrysburg Twp. budget tops $13 million

LIME CITY — The Perrysburg Township Trustees passed a $13 million 2023 budget at the final meeting of 2022.

The 2022 budget was $12 million, and it will grow to $13.4 million in 2023. It includes a 6% general pay increase for township employees.

“Obviously our wages are increasing,” said Trustee Bob Mack. “We’re still below inflationary rates, but obviously we don’t want our employees to be losing purchasing power, or taking pay cuts, in light of our changing economy. So we had to make a change. It’s just part of our labor negotiating with our bargaining units. And, we feel like it’s a fair deal.”

The 2023 wage increase included a longevity pay cap to $1,825 for all employees.

Mack described longevity pay as pay to recognize long-term service, which is made as a lump-sum paid annually.

“For someone who has been there for awhile, we are paying a little bit more for their experience and loyalty. Loyalty being a key word for this day, where the employment market is so tight,” Mack said.

In the fire department, employees holding the rank of captain will be paid at a differential of 12% from the step 5 wage rate. Acting captains will be paid at a differential of 6% from the step 5 rate.

Just prior to the regular meeting, the trustees met in executive session for collective bargaining and employee compensation.

Also at the meeting, Mack talked about the township building project.

“We put some numbers in the budget, with some optimism, that we would be making some changes,” Mack said.

There is $900,000 budgeted for new building/additions fund, which is up from $700,000 last year, and the year before. No new building has been constructed, but each year there are minimal repairs; for example, in 2021 there were new doors, for $20,000.

Plans for a new building go back more than a decade, with some of the most recent estimates totaling more than $1 million.

“There was nothing scientific about the number,” Mack said. “It was just a number we put in there, in case we decided to take some steps forward. It would be tough to spend more than that in a given year. This was a number that, in the event that there was an opportunity to build, or renovate what we have, that we could move on that.”

He said the increase was simply an adjustment for the inflation in building costs that have hit construction over the last few years, but also “maybe an increasing desire to make something happen.”

Three companies are being considered for new building plans: Proudfoot and Associates, the Collaborative and Duket Architects Planners.

“We’ve been talking about this for years and it’s probably time to upgrade our facilities, but no one says we have to,” Mack said.

A few budget cuts were made around the township, according to Gretchen Welch, fiscal officer.

“Fire and EMS are cutting some of their equipment purchases, because they are going to some leasing programs. So that should cut down on those budgets,” Welch said. “As far as cutbacks in anything else, it’s kind of conservative and kept to the same.”

The fire department equipment fund in the 2021 budget was $400,000. That fell to $350,000 in 2022, and will be $250,000 in 2023.

The police department equipment fund in the 2021 budget was $130,000. It stayed the same in 2022, but will drop to $100,000 in 2023.