BRUNSWICK –– The 2019 city budget is shaping up to be a strong one with funding increases padding the city’s coffers for the coming year.
City Finance Director Todd Fischer presented the proposed general fund budget Monday to members of Council’s Finance Committee, laying out the details of the more than $43 million financial plan.
“We are expecting about a $1.1 million increase, $750,000 of that is expected to come from the levy,” Fischer said. “People may say ‘Well, that went into effect in 2018, not 2019. Why is that?’ Well, our individuals don’t file for 2018 until 2019.”
In May 2017, voters approved a temporary income tax increase of 0.65 percent to fund steady staffing levels in the city’s safety forces. This temporary tax, which runs from Jan. 1, 2018, to Dec. 31, 2022, replaces a previous 0.50 percent income tax and the additional 0.15 percent will generate $750,000 in additional revenue annually.
The economy has also been good to Brunswick as income tax collections are up 2.86 percent over this time last year, bringing in an additional about $350,000, Fischer said.
Fischer said 2019 is also the seventh consecutive year Brunswick will not use any of the income tax revenue it receives for retiring debt obligations. The city will see a small increase of 1.5 percent in property tax revenue and the city’s road levy is holding strong, which means a number of local projects are in the works for 2019.
Several proposed projects are in next year’s budget including:
- Laurel Road from Brintnall Drive to Pinewood Drive. This is a reconstruction project with a price tag of $1,065,940. The city anticipates receiving a grant from the state for $613,940 to help fund this project.
- South Industrial Parkway from Center Road for approximately 1,080 linear feet. This is also a reconstruction project that has an estimated cost of $960,564. The city is seeking a grant for $175,000 from the Medina County Transportation Improvement District (TID) funds and $200,000 from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Economic Development funds to help pay for the project. If Brunswick is successful in obtaining these grants, the city’s contribution will be $585,544.
- North Carpenter Road. This is the single most expensive project on the proposed list for 2019. In total, it is estimated to cost more than $15 million when completed. The city began this work in 2018. While the state is picking up most of the expenses — roughly $9.7 million — Brunswick will pay $3,256,830.51 in local construction costs by the end of 2019. The county is adding in an additional 20 percent.
Fischer said the proposed budget also accounts for $160,000 in repair and resurfacing costs for Boyer Drive, which the city has been saving for since August 2012, and another $360,000 will go toward general road repairs and improvements.
As for employee costs, Fischer said all of the city’s six collective bargaining agreements have been previously negotiated and are in place through Dec. 31, 2019. Negotiated wage increases are factored into the budget at 3 percent.
The budget also reflects about an 18 percent estimated increase in medical insurance premium costs.
Fischer said employees will not select their health insurance plans until November of December so final health care costs are not known at this time.
No city department will see a significant budget increase, and the general fund will have a cash balance of $691,713 by the end of 2019.
Council will vote on the proposed budget at the next Council meeting.
“We are doing the best we can with the funding we have and I think we are doing some really positive things,” said City Manager Carl DeForest