Council completes budget review

By Michael Seffrin -

SIDNEY — Sidney City Council completed its review of the 2016 budget Monday night that included a look at the Department of Fire & Emergency Services.

Among changes next year will be the addition of two firefighters. Because of the time needed for the application and testing process, “we’ll probably have them on board by March,” Fire Chief Brad Jones told council.

The department also will implement the Lexipol policy manual. Lexipol is a risk-management program that includes training, Jones said. Firefighters will read daily training bulletins and take tests on them.

Also next year, the department will partner with area agencies through the Miami Valley Fire/EMS Alliance with a goal of cost-savings and organizational improvement. Another partnership will be established with Edison Community College for regional training.

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 2016 is updating of the city’s comprehensive plan.

The administration budget’s goals, presented by City Manager Mark Cundiff, include keeping the city in sound financial condition; ensuring substantial progress on water source and wastewater treatment plant projects; and resolving the future of the Wagner and Ohio buildings. Both buildings have been vacant for a number of years and are deteriorating.

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.

The IT fund prompted questions from council concerning revenue the city gets from services provided to Shelby County. Revenue received from the county accounts for 20 percent of city staff costs. Council discussed whether the fees should be increased.

The 2016 appropriations ordinance will be introduced at the Nov. 23 council meeting and will be considered for adoption at the Dec. 14 meeting.

By Michael Seffrin

The writer may be contacted at 937-538-4823 and on Twitter @MikeSeffrinSDN.

The writer may be contacted at 937-538-4823 and on Twitter @MikeSeffrinSDN.