GALLIPOLIS — Gallipolis City Commission held a public hearing for its 2020 city operating budget during the regular meeting of the commission, Tuesday evening.
A copy of the budget can be viewed at Bossard Memorial Library or at the Gallipolis Municipal Building.
“In general, I just wanted to run through the process we had,” said City Manager Ted Lozier. “Starting in late fall, probably mid-November, we met with each (city) department heads and we worked through the budget and they gave us a list, or what I’ll say their desired budget. There were some capital items in there and other types of contract services that they were hoping to get and that sort of thing. We took each of those department budgets, combined them all, added in the payroll, personnel, those sorts of costs and administrative costs and looked at overall budget.”
Lozier said the city had around 46 funds the municipal government had to keep oversight and manipulate to ensure citizens continued to receive city services.
“One of those is the general fund and the general fund is limited in terms of the amount of available resources that are there,” said Lozier. “We compared that with the amount of funds that were requested from the general fund. Unfortunately at that time, the requested amounts were higher than our projected available funds. Since that time, we have been working through basically cutting those budgets down to where we can come out balanced with the general fund.”
The overall budget for operations, debt service and capital improvements for the city is about $10.44 million. The projected revenues including funds that have transferred over from the previous year number around $13.18 million.
“This coming year, some of the projects or highlights I wanted to mention that we’re going to be working on…we’ll be doing some street paving. Vine Street, Court Street and Locust Street that we plan to do some paving and depending on how things work out, we’re going to try and do a portion of Third Avenue as well,” said Lozier. “We’re hoping to get things out to bid and get bids back by early April and we’ll set times to start construction. We’ll need to coordinate that with Columbia Gas as they do work in the city as well.”
The city is also looking at upgrading a sanitary sewer lift station.
“Improvements have to be made to the community pool,” said Lozier. “The filtration system needs upgraded, rehabbed. We’re going to recoat…the pool and the bathhouse needs a new roof. Another item we’re going to work on is what I call asset management but the assets we’re specifically talking about is our storm sewer, our sanitary sewer and our water lines.”
The city will look at the water infrastructure to “prioritize its needs,” said Lozier, to see what needs improved and then pursue grant programs.
“We do have some capital expenditures,” said Lozier. “We plan to purchase some equipment. One is a sludge truck for the waste water plant. Currently, our sludge is taken to the landfill. We pay for that. If we get a sludge truck, we could actually use that sludge truck and put it one some fields and it will help reduce our overall cost.”
The city manager said the city is also considering purchasing a generator for its fire station.
“We (Lozer and City Auditor and Clerk Anette Landers) worked with the department heads to trim that down,” said Lozier. “We think we’re okay from a practical standpoint. Of course, things change throughout the year but we think we’re in good shape at this point.”
The city said it has recently received donations for the pool’s maintenance, one from the French City Society for $7,800 and $1,000 from AEP River Operations. The city plans to use the rest of a NatureWorks grant, which was previously utilized for Gallipolis City Park upgrades, to then be used for pool maintenance. Lozier said the city would have to work with state legislature to make certain the money was able to be used for such a purpose.
City officials have expressed concern with the general fund over the last few years concerning increasing expenses. Reportedly, the enterprise funds of the city are stable.
More information about Tuesday’s meeting will be found in coming editions.
Dean Wright is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing and can be reached at 740-446-2342. © 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.