[ back ]
Pickerington may balance budget with consolidation
In an effort to balance Pickerington’s 2011 budget, the city is proposing the elimination of several positions and changing its focus in some departments.
City Manager Bill Vance and staff presented several department budgets during the Oct. 13 budget work session, including that of the Planning and Zoning department.
Vance and staff recommended to council the elimination of the Planning and Zoning director position, which would provide an estimated savings of $63,500 in the general fund.
Vance said the reason for the proposed elimination of one of the city’s director positions is due to the need to cut $353,000 out of the 2011 budget.
He added that the lull in development was another driving force behind the proposed elimination.
If approved, the tasks normally performed by the Planning and Zoning Director would be performed instead by Development Director Susan Crotty and City Planner Joe Henderson.
Crotty would then be considered the development services director and would be charged with growth management responsibilities in addition to her economic development responsibilities.
Henderson would also work on growth management responsibilities in addition to projects like downtown revitalization, Vance added.
Two additional positions would also be eliminated in the proposed budget, including a code enforcement officer position in the planning and zoning department and a building inspector position within the building regulations department.
“It’s important to understand that this fiscal year’s budget was budgeted with $700,000 of reserves being allocated to provide additional resources to support ongoing annual operational costs,” Vance said. “Obviously that’s a practice that cannot continue forever since reserves are a non-recurring resource.”
Vance explained that after coordinating the departmental budget proposals for 2011, projected expenditures exceeded projected revenues by $353,000.
“My goal is to provide a balanced budget proposal and it was necessary for me to recommend eliminating three positions to get to that point,” Vance said.
In addition to the reorganization of staff, the engineering department would also have a new focus in 2011 with the proposed budget.
The engineering department proposed that it focus primarily on utility projects in 2011 and use funding from the water, sanitation and storm-water utility funds. It also proposed cutting back on infrastructure projects that would usually be funded by the general fund, City Engineer Greg Bachman said.
The change in focus would allow the engineering department to provide an estimated $120,000 in savings in the general fund from the current year, he said.
The engineering department plans to discuss the projects it intends to focus on during the Oct. 27 budget work session, Bachman said.
Bachman added that the majority of infrastructure projects pursued in 2011 would be those that could be accomplished using grant money such as the S.R. 256 safety improvement project.
[ back ]