Improved Swanton Village Permanent Budget Presented to Council

At the most recent Swanton Village Council meeting, Finance Director Jennifer Harkey presented the 2021 Permanent Budget which included major changes made to the Village’s budgeting process to increase accuracy and transparency.  As explained in the 57-page report which can be found on the Village’s website, “The Permanent Budget is the culmination of the 2021 Capital Improvement Plan and Financial Forecast (CIP) approved by Council on October 15, 2020, the Temporary Budget approved by Council on November 23, 2020 and revisions as necessary.  In addition to the proposed current year budget, four years of historical data are provided The CIP provided current year and four years of forecasted financial data.”

Ms. Harkey thanked the Council for trusting in her to “move the Finance Office forward” in making the necessary changes.  “I mentioned when I presented the Temporary Budget that I had a grander vision of the budget and I’m excited about the progress I made beginning with the 2019 Budget,” she said.  “The new funds, the CIP, the historical data, the forecasting and then this year the graphs and charts and I’m excited to see it come together.   This is what the Village really needed.  With the budget and the CIP put together we know where we’ve been and where we are going, we can identify our shortfalls, our strengths, our weaknesses and this gives us the tools to analyze the data and make good decisions.”

The new numbers also show the financial impact of the pandemic in 2020 was much less than previously estimated.  “The Village will continue to monitor and, if necessary, revise revenues negatively affected by the pandemic,” said Ms. Harkey.  “Overall, the financial health of the Village is stable.  However, as discussed previously, it will be a challenge to maintain the level of services provided by Governmental Funds as costs continue to rise at a faster rate than revenues increase.”

Ms. Harkey received high praise from all members of Council as well as Mayor Neil Toeppe and Administrator Rosanna Hoelzle.  Mayor Toeppe asked to have recognition of her efforts entered into the minutes.

In New Business, Council extended the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which had expired on 12/21/20 to 3/31/21.  The FFCRA requires that employers provide paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave.  Currently, there are two Village employees on this leave.

Council approved the First Reading of Resolution 2021-XX, authorizing the Village Administrator to submit an application to participate in the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) State Capital Improvement and/or Local Transportation Improvement Program(s) and to enter into any agreement for Crestwood Road improvements.

In General Updates, water shut-offs, more than likely, will begin again on April 5, 2021.  Brush pick ups begin in early April.  A Public Hearing is set for April, 2021 to hear Valleywood Golf Club’s appeal to the Village’s storm water service charge.  Another Public Hearing is set for April 26, 2021, to hear Fortemeyer Greenhouse’s appeal on the same issue.

Collin Loeffler has been hired as a part-time Public Service Seasonal employee in the Public Service Division.  He will be paid an hourly rate of $12.00, up to 20 hours per week pending a clear employment drug screen and background check effective March 29 to November 5, 2021.

The next Council meeting will take place in the Swanton Village Council Chambers at 7:00 PM on Monday, March 22, 2021.  The Committee of the Whole will begin at 6:00 PM followed by the Public Service meeting at approximately 6:15 PM.

Pictured:  Finance Director Jennifer Harkey presents budget to Council

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