Future budget priorities taking shape


By Scott Halasz - shalasz@civitasmedia.com



XENIA —Poor street conditions will be a major focus for Xenia in 2018.

City Council members discussed budget priorities with staff during a special meeting May 25 and in addition to maintaining the required cash reserve, the city will sustain and improve infrastructure while ensuring its reliability and capacity to serve the public.

Exact amounts the city will spend on the various priorities will be determined at a later date, but council — which has pledged at least $500,000 annually for streets — is expected to approve the priorities at its next council meeting, according to Finance Director Mark Bazelak. The city will keep approximately $3 million in its reserve (two month of key operating fund expenditures) and will begin planning for an extra pay period in 2021, which will require an additional $500,000, according to Bazelak. That extra pay happens once every 10-12 years, he said.

“We feel we’re in pretty good shape on the operational side,” Bazelak said. “The streets are the big issue we need to deal with.”

The city also wants to continue with public outreach using forums like Neighborhood Night Out, First Fridays, the fireworks and community festivals, and Hometown Christmas. Xenia, Bazelak said, will also need to update some strategic plans, including downtown and information technology.

Other highlights include:

— The fire division staffing 14 per shift through the SAFER grant.

— Maintaining 911 dispatch at five per shift.

— Retain and attract quality employees through competitive packages.

— Rehab water towers and standpipes.

— Rehab major stormwater components.

— Marketing and image enhancement.

— Implement retail recruitment plan.

By Scott Halasz

shalasz@civitasmedia.com

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.

Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.