Council completes budget review

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Sidney City Council completed its review of the 2018 budget Monday night, including a look at the Department of Fire and Emergency Services.

Fire Chief Brad Jones told council continued training and education is one of the department’s goals for administration, fire operations and fire prevention. The goal next year, he said, is to continue with about 3.6 hours per week of training for members of the department. The Nancy Adams Training Center, which is located at Station 1, is aiming to hold approximately 20 local/regional training events in 2018.

Responding to emergency calls in a timely manner is a goal the department struggles to meet in the north section of the city, Jones admitted. He said they are meeting their goals and response times in the west and central areas and are progressively addressing the north by working to add a third fire station.

The department’s total budget for next year is about $5.1 million.

Parks and Recreation Department Director Duane Gaier said his department’s goals and objectives include improving the existing trail system, seeking grants to further develop the park system and programs, increasing participation in the Adopt-a-Park program in which groups do maintenance work at a park, and marketing and promotion of the municipal pool to increase attendance. He also outlined improvements at Graceland Cemetery and the Senior Center, for which his department is responsible.

Community Services Director Barbara Dulworth outlined her department’s budget, which includes planning and zoning, building inspection, code enforcement and city hall. Among goals and objectives for 2018 is bringing in a new, full-time, vacant property inspector for the vacant properties registration program. The goal of the developing program is to deal with the city’s problem of abandoned and vacant properties around town.

The administration budget’s goals, presented by City Manager Mark Cundiff, include keeping the city in sound financial condition; expanding the tax base by keeping and attracting business, in part by working with the Sidney Shelby Economic Partnership and the Dayton Development Coalition and Jobs Ohio; and monitoring income tax and other revenue sources.

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.

When discussing the IT fund, Adams said Shelby County is expected to be charged about $85,200 for services provided. Revenue received from the county equates to 25 percent of city staff costs. Negotiations with the county will begin early next year, she said, as the IT contract will expire, May, 31, 2018.

Also outlined were the budgets, goals and objectives for the law director/prosecutor, City Council and the city’s human resources departments.

The 2018 appropriations ordinance will be introduced at the Nov. 27 council meeting and will be considered for adoption at the Dec. 11 meeting.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.