Middletown 2018 budget: Staff raises, sewer rate hike

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Middletown 2018 budget: Staff raises, sewer rate hike

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Middletown will be increasing its general fund spending in 2018 for non-public safety departments. STAFF FILE PHOTO

At Tuesday’s Middletown City Council meeting, City Manager Doug Adkins went over the non-public safety portions of the 2018 budget. Most non-public safety departments are seeing spending increases and will be increasing city services to residents, he said.

Among the significant changes in the 2018 budget:

  • 2.0 percent cost of living raise for all employees, including public safety
  • No performance based incentive program for 2017
  • Reinstating an animal control officer
  • No water rate increase is planned
  • No solid waste monthly increase is planned
  • Increasing the number of hours the Health Department is open each day
  • Changes in the employee pay and benefits structure starting Jan. 1, 2018 that will reduce the number of pay steps
  • Replacing employee vacation, personal day, birthday and sick leave with annual Paid Time Off to be used as the employee desires.
  • Capping the number of PTO hours an employee can bank to 400 hours.
  • Employee health insurance costs are being increased by 6 percent and officials plan to start repayment to the general fund for covering prior years deficits
  • Upgrades are planned to the city’s telephone system, computer servers, public works software,and wireless infrastructure at remote locations

Adkins said a 15 percent increase in the sewer rate is still planned that is consistent with the long term control plan projections. He said the sewer rate increases now will avoid steeper and shorter term increases in the future.

More than $6.5 million in sewer fund capital improvement projects is set for upgrades to the Wastewater Treatment Plant, system replacement and other improvements.

In 2018, Adkins said the city will be working on various projects such as the new master plan for the city, an airport master plan, housing study and a city-wide transportation plan. He said there will be housing discussions throughout 2018 to develop new policies and neighborhood strategies for 2019.

The city is also planning a $2 million project that includes a pending $1.1 million Ohio Public Works Commission grant as well as other city funds and assessments for a large project that will include paving:

  • South Breiel Boulevard between Lefferson and Oxford State Roads
  • South Main Street between Eighteenth Avenue and the city limits
  • Goldman Avenue between Orchard and Highland streets
  • Lewis Street between Jackson Lane and Eaton Avenue
  • Marshall Road between Manchester Road and Riverview Drive
  • Park Lane

The project will also include sidewalk, curb and gutter improvements.

In addition, the city plans to use its own crew to pave several other streets that have not been determined.

Council will consider the 2018 budget at its Nov. 7 and Nov. 21 meetings. If approved, the 2018 budget will go into effect on Jan. 1.

2018 BUDGET AT A GLANCE

Middletown will be increasing its general fund spending in 2018 for non-public safety departments.

  • The city’s proposed 2018 general fund budget of nearly $32.2 million is up by just more than $2.2 million, or 7.4 percent.
  • Public safety accounts for 69.3 percent, about $22.2 million — or just more than two-thirds of the city’s overall general fund budget.
  • The remaining one-third of the general fund budget spending that covers the operations of the rest of the city budget is about $9.4 million, which is up about $477,244 or 5.4 percent over the 2017 city budget.
  • Income tax revenue is expected to increase about 3 percent in 2018 over the 2017 budget. However, it’s a 3 percent decrease compared to projected actual 2017 year-end revenues.

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