TROY — The city of Troy has announced $2.24 million in budget cuts in anticipation of a negative economic impact on the city’s coffers from the coronavirus pandemic.
Director of Public Service and Safety Patrick Titterington said, “Unless there are drastic changes to the economy, beyond the current situation, we are staying with these cuts for the immediate future. We may reassess in a few months when we do a reappropriation to council.”
Among the line items included is a $275,000 cut to the city’s road repair program led by the road ratings with those in need to be completed first; a clerk position left unfilled in the service and safety director’s office; the fire department apprenticeship program to become voluntary, unpaid positions in 2021; annual street painting will be pushed back to 2021 and reviewed by case basis; temporary staffing hours for mowing and maintenance in the park and cemetery would be cut back, Street Foreman Jerry Mullins rescinded his retirement, saving the city $66,000 in payouts; and a roof replacement project at Hobart Arena will be delayed until 2021.
Despite $2.24 million in cuts, the city anticipates a $829,000 gap, which officials said could be filled through prudent spending or general fund reserves.
As of Thursday, city officials are moving forward with filling three vacant positions at the fire department.
“Three EMTs have been offered conditional appointments pending background and physicals. They are the last three vacancies,” Titterington said.
The cuts were announced in a memo from Titterington, which stated the state of Ohio has told municipalities to expect a 40 percent reduction in local government fund payments; 45 percent reduction in gas tax payments; and $2.5 million in income tax receipts. The city expects $3.1 million in decreased general funds, if not more, from the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent business closures.
“Last year was a very good year for maintenance. We will seek to continue that trend, but visitors have to realize that the governor’s decisions have significantly impacted city resources so we must cut back in as many ways, while trying to maintain standards as best we can,” Titterington said.
In the memo, Titterington said he directed staff to review their budgets and identify areas that could be eliminated, reduced or deferred into the future.
Titterington said city staff will not cut safety, streets, refuse or other essential services; projects and programs currently underway will continue; training and travel not related to maintaining certification will be cut; expenses related to zoning and property maintenance should remain in the budget, if possible; other standards may be relaxed such as mowing frequency as long as standards remain in compliance with city codes and doesn’t interfere with private properties.