Tweaks to the city of Union’s proposed 2018-19 budget continue to be made.
Finance Officer Heather Keith presented an update to the board at the city’s May 7 personnel, finance and public works committee meeting.
Keith said an open item that needed to be addressed is cost of living (COLA) and merit raises. She said there is a 3 percent range the board could work within.
The board could break the 3 percent up and go with a 1.5 percent COLA and 1.5 percent merit raise, he said, or decide to have a 3 percent COLA raise.
Based on committee chair Bob Schmuke’s suggestion, the board agreed to move forward with a 2 percent cost of living increase and a 1 percent merit increase for employees.
Keith said the only other open item still to be addressed is the cost of sewer projects. Several projects are being analyzed and the total cost won’t be known until mid-May, she said.
Keith said the revised budget does include Prop P funds, which voters approved in the April election. Based on numbers presented by Franklin County, the city is expected to receive $342,324.39 in 2019.
The money is intended for police department raises.
Because Union’s budget year starts on July 1 and the first payment won’t be until January 2019, Keith said Union is allocating just $154,056, half the total, for the budget.
Keith said she, City Administrator Russell Rost and Police Chief Norm Brune are set to meet in July to come up with a plan for the raises.
The rough draft of the budget estimates revenues of $8,871,831 for the general fund. The bulk of the revenue, $5,746,046, is expected to come from taxes.
Expenses out of the general fund total $8,795,942. Large general fund expenses include street department ($2,668,812), incidentals ($2,280,479) police ($1,928,780) and trash services ($737,400).
Incidentals include $1,351,105 for personnel service and $485,424 for general services for the city.
For the parks fund, the city is estimating revenues of $1,062,180 against expenses totaling $1,692,942. The biggest parks expenses are for park maintenance — the budget draft estimates the city will spend $610,495 in fiscal year 2018-19 on basic operations.
The city usually approves its budget in June. The budget cycle starts July 1.