Hammering out budget details in Perrysburg

PERRYSBURG — City council approved a $2.28 million appropriations amendment to the 2023 budget at the March 7 regular meeting.

“This is standard procedure,” said Council President Jonathan Smith. “When we pass a budget in December we don’t actually have all the accounts closed and we don’t know, for sure, what we are going to finish out with income, as well as unencumbered balances and projects that will complete out. We will have money left over or some projects with numbers that need to be finalized.”

Council approved the amended 2023 budget with an additional $2.28 million added to the previously approved budget. The entire working budget, including revenues, expenditures and appropriations is now $106 million.

The categories of budget items from the general fund include salaries, fringe benefits and departmental services. The list also includes savings, such as the lower than expected costs for council supplies and materials of $1,000.

Smith pointed out several projects that are now slated for 2023.

Among the additional items he wanted to highlight from the general fund in the amended 2023 budget are: $600,000 for downtown Americans with Disabilities Act rehabilitation project, $425,000 for a new ambulance, $210,000 traffic signal purchases, $180,000 Second Street parking project and $110,000 Walnut Street parking project.

Smith is also the chair of the recreation committee, which has the first phase, at $700,000, for Orleans Park, as allocated in the new master plan. That plan was approved later in the same council meeting as the budget amendment.

“Those are pretty significant projects,” Smith said.

Budgets are often reported with general fund numbers, but municipalities are unique entities, he said.

In Perrysburg, sewers are not part of the general fund, but included in the city budget. Smith spoke about a few figures that may stand out to the casual budget reader, because of the size of the figures.

There is a $5 million negative line item in sewer collections department. According to Smith, that includes $2.5 million for the Maple Street sanitary sewer overflow project that is being redesigned in conjunction with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. There is also a $2 million waste water treatment plant digester project that is delayed at least a year.

Smith that both projects are still expected to happen, but as details were hammered out, the spending is being pushed into a future budget.

“It’s not that those projects won’t happen, they’re just delayed,” Smith said.

He noted that those project details were discussed at the Feb. 22 public utilities committee meeting.

Director of Finance Amber Rathburn also supplied council with changes to budget categories to more accurately reflect the spending usage.