2/17/2016 – 8:11 pm
What should the City of Findlay do with its multi-million dollar budget surplus? Should funds be spent to hire staff, or saved in case of an economic recession? That was a question put to the members of the Findlay City Council committee of the whole meeting Wednesday. Councilman Jeff Wobser said that it’s in the cities best interest to be prudent in how funds are used. Given the effects of a new recession, the city needs to build funds in order to provide services in hard economic times.
Audio: Jeff Wobser
Service Safety Director Paul Schmelzer noted that having budget surpluses are not bad things for a city, and that the City of Findlay was attempting to build up both the rainy day funds and the capital improvement funds, as well as slowly hire staff. He said that what the city didn’t want to get into was a situation where staff would need to be reduced and a new tax levy would need to be requested in the event of an economic recession.
Audio: Paul Schmelzer
Schmelzer said that moving some funds to capital improvement helps the city leverage other projects that are put out to bid, such as roads, utility systems, and inferstructure. And while the city could use that money to hire staff, not doing so with the revenues coming in could put the city in a bind financially. Auditor Jim Staschiak said that it was a good first step in a long process to ultimatly craft a plan that will keep the city financially secure during the next economic downturn.
Audio: Jim Staschiak
Findlay Mayor Lydia Mihalik noted that when the economic downturn hit, the city was in a position where staff had to be let go because reserve funds were depleted. From her point of view it’s not good sense to outstretch resources to the point where expenses outpace revenues because such situations will have a negative impact on city services.
Audio: Lydia Mihalik
Service-Safety Director Paul Schmelzer noted that at the moment the cities expenses are at the levels that they were at in 2008 prior to the recession.
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