Council completes budget review

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Sidney City Council completed its review of the 2017 budget Monday night that included a look at the Department of Fire & Emergency Services.

Among goals for 2017, Fire Chief Brad Jones told council the department will continue to partner with area agencies with a goal of cost-savings and organizational efficiency. They will continue to provide direct delivery of fire safety education lessons to children from pre-K through fifth-grade, direct delivery of fire safety/fire extinguisher training to adults in the workplace and provide the court ordered Juvenile Fire Setter program to young people. The department also intends to provide smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors to citizens.

“Every detector we hand out has the potential to save multiple lives … A working smoke detector in your house, saves the citizens’ and fire fighters’ lives,” said Jones.

He said the fire department handed out 107 smoke detectors and 69 carbon monoxide detectors within the last year. The department’s total budget for next year is about $5 million.

Community Services Director Barbara Dulworth outlined her department’s budget, which consists of planning and zoning, building inspection, code enforcement, and city hall. Among goals and objectives for 2017 is to update of the city’s comprehensive plan, as well as the primary goal of providing the enforcement of new photoelectric smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors when permits are pulled, which is one of the new code requirements.

The administration budget’s goals, presented by City Manager Mark Cundiff, include keeping the city in sound financial condition; expansion of tax base through retention and attraction of business; to oversee the implementation of the annual budget and five-year financial plan.

Finance Officer Ginger Adams discussed her department’s budget, which consists of finance-accounting, purchasing, revenue collections, and information technology. Among goals are maintaining a high standard of financial reporting and dealing with state-mandated changes to the city income tax.

Adams said her department will continue to “work with IT to finalize implementation of citizen transparency by providing online access to financial data” which is a part of the state treasurer’s Opengov software, in early 2017.

The IT Fund’s goals were to upgrade the utility billing software and implement a new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system with Volp technology. The county’s cost for IT services is about $83,500, which is almost 25 percent of staff costs.

The 2017 appropriations ordinance will be introduced at the Nov. 28 council meeting and will be considered for adoption at the Dec. 12 meeting.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.