The budget is $30,000 less than last year’s budget, according to Mayor John Hunter, who praised Council for being frugal.
“Even though expenses go up, we’ve trimmed the budget,” Hunter said. “We keep things in line.”
Hunter said Sheffield continues to have business growth, but Council must continue to budget conservatively. “We can’t live on borrowed money or live on tying things to the future,” he said.
Like many Ohio communities, Sheffield has been receiving substantially less state taxpayer money through aid to local governments the last several years after the Legislature cut business and income taxes. Hunter previously said Sheffield is receiving $160,000 less annually in state money through aid to local governments beginning with the state biennial budget that took effect in 2012. He said the new budget cuts an additional $60,000 annually.
Less money has meant fewer village employees. Full-time employees have been cut through attrition from about 66 when Hunter took office in 2008 to 48. Part-time employees have been cut from 56 to 35.
Despite the cuts, Sheffield has maintained a surplus. The new budget includes an approximately $1 million surplus from his year which is projected to increase by about $12,000 at the end of next year, according to Clerk/Treasurer Tim Pelcic.
In other business
- Kyle Shawver was hired as a full-time police officer. The Police Department has 14 full-time officers and 11 part-timers. Hunter said it’s important to keep the department fully staffed as service calls increase. He said calls have increased from about 900 in 2004 to more than 10,000 in 2012 because of general growth in the city.
- Kevin Blair was hired as a full-time firefighter. The Fire Department has 14 full-time firefighters and 12 part-timers. Hunter said calls to the department have increased from about 500 in 2002 to more than 9,000 in 2012.
- Laura Jean Urig was promoted to a full-time emergency dispatcher. There are four full-time dispatchers and seven part-timers.
- Hunter invited residents to view the Fire Department’s new ambulance at the Village Hall, 4340 Colorado Ave. The $215,000 ambulance was paid for with a five-year, 1.75-mill levy passed in 2012 that generates nearly $300,000 annually.