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City of Lyndhurst, Ohio Finance Committee
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February 22, 2010: Finance Committee

The Finance Committee will meet on Monday, February 22, 2010 at 6:30 P.M. to discuss the 2010 appropriations and capital budget.
Patrick A. Ward, Chairman
February 22, 2010: Finance Committee

The Finance Committee met Monday, February 22, 2010 at 6:30 PM. Present were members of Council, Mr. Fisher, Mr. Frey, Mr. Gambatese, Mr. LoPresti, Mr. Marko, Mr. Schlessel and Mr. Ward. Also present was Finance Director Mary Kovalchik and Mayor Cicero. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss budget appropriations for 2010. A copy of the Draft Appropriation Budget had been distributed to all members of Council in advance of the meeting for their careful evaluation in preparation for this session and many questions had been posed prior to the meeting.
Chairman Ward opened the meeting by asking the Committee members to refer to page 21 of the Budget, "Totals by Department" and then reading the following statement:
"A review of these totals shows very clearly that the changes and initiatives put forward by the Administration and this Council are producing results and keeping us alive. Were it not for these changes, oversight, diligence and cooperation by everyone we would not be contemplating a budget that is as flat as a pancake. We would be staring down a hole so deep the thought makes me shudder.
The Budget we have before us, this evening, at $14,730,510 is 5.6% lower than last year's requested and is only 3.4% more than last year's actual expense. I do want to start off by thanking everyone; our employees, Department Heads, Mayor Cicero and my colleagues for the dedicated focus on the bottom line.
Now that we have the "pats on the back" out of the way, I do have to say that our most difficult times probably lie ahead. We have made great progress but things far outside our control have and may continue to challenge us. Income, this year, will be $500,000 less because of the County's reduction of property values alone. Whether we agree with the "across-the-board" reduction approach applied by the County or not; it is what it is and, though we struggle, at least our residents are getting a little much needed relief."
The Committee then began a review, by Department, of the line-item General Fund Budget. Committee members were prepared with questions on specific lines of expense and detailed answers were provided. It was pointed out that Nuisance Abatement expense had been moved from the Lands & Buildings section of the budget to the Building Department where that program is administered. No money has yet been considered to provide for a Tree Program or Sidewalk Program this year, programs that cannot stand to be neglected much longer. Mr. Ward and Mrs. Kovalchik will continue to discuss alternative ways of administering a Sidewalk Program to reduce the City's cost in the future. The City's obligation and commitment to SELREC was discussed with Mayor Cicero highlighting the draft Memorandum of Understanding between the SELCREC COG and the YMCA which, if adopted, would require 18 months of continued support of SELREC by the cities of South Euclid and Lyndhurst and the SEL Board of Education after which the YMCA would assume SELREC's operations and obligations. Any operating losses would be absorbed by the YMCA during the conversion period and thereafter. The Committee considered the following amounts by Department or function:
Police Department
Fire Department
Public Health
Planning Commission
Board of Zoning
Architectural Board
Building Department
Brainard Pool
Lyndhurst Pool
Recreation Events
Commission on Aging
Refuse Collection
Income Tax Administration
Finance Department
Law Department
Service Department
Civil Service Commission
Municipal Court
General Administrative
Lands & Buildings

For a total GENERAL FUND

Which will leave a balance, if every appropriated dollar is expended, of $62,847 at the end of the year.
A motion was made by Mr. Schlessel, seconded by Mr. Gambatese that the General Fund appropriations be approved as presented. The question passed unanimously.
Other Funds are budgeted as follows:
Special Revenue Funds
Debt Service Fund
Special Assessment Funds
Trust & Agency Funds
Capital Improvement Funds
The City also administers several Court Funds which have appropriations as follows:
Court Probation Services
Court Special Projects
Court Computer Fund
The Committee went on to review Capital requests, by Department, that have been recommended for funding by the various Committees of Council. Every Department stepped up, once again, to reduce the list of items needed to what is absolutely necessary to provide for smooth operations. The following total amounts have been approved:
Police Department requests
Fire Department requests
Building Department Requests
Lyndhurst Municipal Court requests
Public Lands & Building Requests
Community Center Requests
Finance Department requests
Service Department requests
Street Improvement requests
Storm Sewer requests
Sanitary Sewer requests
Technology Upgrades
Miscellaneous Engineering requests
Discussion then turned to the proposal of re-inventing the Brainard Pool facility into a Splash Park as had been presented by Mayor Cicero and Service Director Glady to Mr. Frey's Public Lands & Buildings Committee. The construction costs have been estimated at $652,000 and yearly operating costs at $45,000. Mrs. Kovalchik reported that she had tested the City's ability to repay a note for construction costs up to $700,000 and at 80% of our current property values indicating that it is well within the City's ability to repay. Mrs. Kovalchik also indicated the City may be able to, at some time, call the note on the Lyndhurst Aquatic Center, pay it off early and save around $200,000 in future interest expense. She will continue to pursue those details. The question was raised as to the City's ability to sustain the estimated operating cost of such a facility and it was pointed out that there is only a $23,000 difference between the cost to operate that facility and the expense we are currently funding to keep the Brainard Pool closed which is not a great deal of difference at all to have a Park and Facility that is vibrant and utilized enhancing the area and community. A motion was made by Mr. Schlessel; seconded by Mr. Marko to continue planning for the Spray Park and to provide funds for its construction at $652,000. That motion passed unanimously.
With the addition of the Brainard Splash Park we have a proposed;
A motion was made by Mr. Marko, seconded by Mr. Schlessel to approve the Capital requests recommended by the various committees of Council and amended this evening. The question passed unanimously.
The Grand Total of all Funds is $24,305,561
With no further business to discuss the meeting was adjourned at 8:14 PM.
Respectfully Submitted,
Patrick A. Ward

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