GALLIPOLIS — City Commissioners passed the first reading of the city’s 2018 budget Tuesday during a special meeting in the Gallipolis Municipal Building.
According to budget information pulled from the meeting, in 2013 the city had pulled in $3,557,074.84 in revenue or the general fund, $3,477,758.68 in 2014, $3,285,921.04 in 2015, $3,139289.24 in 2016, $3,097,447.96, and $3,169,352.70 for 2018 estimates.
According to City Clerk and Auditor Annette Landers in a previous meeting, at the beginning of 2017, the city’s general fund had a estimated carryover budget from the previous year of $233,595.10. From 2017 into 2018, it has a carryover estimate of $385,542.68.
“We’ve gotten a preliminary report how the general fund and all the other funds are doing,” said Landers. “The thing that was interesting to me is that…we’ve gained ground this year. Now, of course, the cautionary thing to say about this is that $20,000 of that was the sale of property and we did receive additional rebates from (Worker’s Compensation) which we don’t usually get every year. So, that accounts for some of it but a lot of this is just the department heads being very careful with their money.”
Landers said during the previous year’s figure estimates, the city had not expected it would see a growth in money saved. Typically, the carryover has been gradually shrinking over the last several years as city officials voiced concern over growing financial concerns.
“This year, our revenues actually outpaced our expenditures by (around) $151,000,” said Landers. “That’s very good. We’ve not seen a year like that in a very long time.”
“I think it’s a team effort,” said City Manager Gene Greene in the previous meeting. “If you guys remember, especially you older commissioners, back the day I walked into this office, we were just barely making payroll. So, not only have we paid off some of (the city’s) debts, we’re actually coming ahead. I honestly believe and would like to see before I leave this office, even though maybe it’s a dream, close to a million dollars there (in carryover). It’s going to be tough but like (Landers) said, it’s a team effort. The department heads have cut back and we’ve used a lot of grant money. I can say it’s your department heads and employees that have saved a lot of money and I’m pretty proud of them.”
Greene was not at this week’s meeting due to personal reasons with City Manager Interim Ronnie Lynch filling his seat.
In further news, commissioners voted four to one to re-appoint Adam Salisbury as the city solicitor for another four years in a first reading. Commissioner Tony Gallagher voiced opposition with his vote in that he felt the public had not been notified of city jobs as they became available in the past and that positions with the city had not been advertised. He said he knew individuals that may be interested in the solicitor position and he had a problem with the motion. He said he was “not against Adam” but could not vote for something he felt had not been advertised. Commissioner Stephen Wallis said with the re-appointment of an individual he did not know “that was necessary” as it was with a position they were trying to replace with a new employee.