Chillicothe will begin its fiscal year Sunday, April 1, with a budget that reflects an estimated 6.5 percent surplus by the end of the budget year. Chillicothe City Council members on Monday conducted a public hearing and subsequently approved the 2018-19 budget.
Chillicothe will begin its fiscal year Sunday, April 1, with a budget that reflects an estimated 6.5 percent surplus by the end of the budget year. Chillicothe City Council members on Monday conducted a public hearing and subsequently approved the 2018-19 budget. The financial plan calls for estimated revenues of $13,855,931 and projected expenditures of $12,958,513. City Administrator Darin Chappell said that with conservative spending, the city anticipates ending the year with a surplus of nearly $900,000, which includes approximately $70,000 in unrestricted general revenue reserves. “We’re increasing our reserves by almost $900,000 with no tax increase, no rate increase... just conservative management principles,” he said. The city is taking a hope-for-the-best, plan-for-the-worst attitude, the administrator said, and the budget reflects a 1.5 percent revenue increase over last year’s revenues. He said it is likely that actual revenues will exceed projections. Some of the conservative spending measures come in the form of reallocating job duties, when it is feasible. “We haven’t let anyone go for budgetary reasons, but when some positions have been vacated we simply haven’t refilled them,” he said, noting that when someone leaves a position the city studies the duties of that position and determines whether they could be reallocated to another position. The budget is not only a financial document but a statement of priorities, the administrator said. He explained that although there is a balance in reserves, the city would like to delay spending those funds until there is enough money to complete larger projects. “There are bigger projects that we want to be able to do... specifically street projects,” he said. “Rather than doing them in part, it is better to do them all at once. So, we are saving back in order to do it all at once.” The budget reflects a 2 percent cost of living increase to all city employees contracts with various entities to provide services in the city. The contract prices remained the same as last year for all but two requesting entities. The Fourth of July Freedom Festival received $4,000 last year and the city approved $2,000 in the new budget. It was noted that the Freedom Fest was starting the year with a balance of $4,000. The Freedom Festival had requested $4,000. The council approved an increase of $2,000 over last year’s $2,000 for a total of $4,000 for the Fine Arts Council. The Fine Arts Council requested $5,000 this year. Other contracts approved were: Chamber of Commerce, $5,300; YMCA, $14,500; KCADC, $2,500; Extension Center, $5,000; Main Street, $30,000; Livingston County Fair Rodeo, $500; Livingston County Humane Society, $72,304; Summer Playground Association, $13,000.