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Finance Committee Gets First Peek At City’s Proposed 2023 Budget

Marysville City Finance Director Brad Lutz and Human Resources Director Brian Dostanko were the headliners Monday at the Marysville City Council’s regular Finance Committee meeting in City Hall.

Both Mr. Dostanko and Mr. Lutz were on hand to present their requests for line items to be added to both the 2022 and 2023 budgets.

Mr. Lutz was the first presenter and he submitted approximately two dozen supplemental requests for the 2022 budget, requests which ran the gamut from $150 for a new employee’s cell phone stipend all the way to $225,000 for trash removal services, which includes new dumpsters and contract increases, mostly because of spiraling fuel prices. His requests included $130,000 appropriation for the purchase of chemicals that will be used for the new water treatment system and also included nine separate line items that addressed the increased cost of fuel for vehicles and generators used by the city. Skyrocketing fuel prices have hit the city very hard in the pocketbook, as the various city departments racked up fuel bills – both gasoline and diesel – totaling almost $500,000 which was not included the original budget, hence the request for the 2022 supplemental request.

The Finance Committee comprised of Chairman Henk Berbee, Aaron J. Carpenter and Alan Seymour voted 3-0 to approve Mr. Lutz’s supplemental requests for the 2022 budget as presented with one glaring exception, that being a $328,000 request for a cost share for the completion of the Automotive and Mobility Innovation Center (AMIC). That request was removed from the Mr. Lutz’s list prior to the vote as several members of council – not just members of the Finance Committee – are reluctant to appropriate even more money for the ongoing project, of which the City is already heavily invested. The idea behind the supplemental request for the AMIC was that the City of Marysville and the Union County Commission would split the remaining cost to finish the construction of AMIC, which totals well over the $500,000 range, but several council members have made it clear that the results of the city’s expenditures on the project so far have been disappointing and some council members are reluctant to continue to fund the project, liking it to throwing good money after bad.

Nevertheless, all of the items on Mr. Lutz’s list – again with the exception of the AMIC supplemental request – were approved by a 3-0 vote by the committee.

Following Mr. Lutz’s presentation, Mr. Dostanko took over and introduced Personnel Budget Requests (PBRs) for 14 new positions in the city for the 2023 budget.

Included in the PBRs were positions for an income tax administrator, facilities technician, planning and development manager, a travel traffic signal apprentice, a parks and recreation worker apprentice, an addition of fourth sanitation worker, which would be the first hire for such a position since 2019, a stormwater apprentice, a risk reduction fire fighter EMT-P,  reclassification from Fire Prevention Lieutenant position to Fire Marshal, a request for police officers who will act as School Resource Officers (SRO), a Police Sergeant for the SRO expansion initiative and information technology technician, who will primarily work with the Marysville Division of Police.

Full descriptions of each position were issued to those present, with Mr. Dostanko  giving a short description and the pressing need for each the positions to the Committee. After Mr. Dostanko ran through the PBR requests and a short discussion, the Finance Committee approved to forward Mr. Dostanko’s requests to the full council by a 3-0 vote.

Keep in mind that the presentations from Mr. Lutz and Mr. Dostanko to the Finance Committee meeting last night was merely the first step in the long budget process now faced by the Marysville City Council, which will no doubt suggest some rewrites, additions and subtractions before it crosses the City Council’s dais for a first reading.

But as time is of the essence as 2023 edges closer by the day, it is likely that the first reading for the proposed supplementals and PBRs will appear in front on the Marysville City Council as soon as the next meeting, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday.

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