Village Council

Yellow Springs village revenues higher than expected

A mid-year budget review at Village Council’s July 21 meeting offered good news regarding Village general fund revenues. The general fund provides funding for most Village services other than utilities, including parks and recreation, police and streets.

“City income taxes are up and real estate taxes are up,” Village Finances Director Melissa Vanzant told Council. “I don’t see any real areas of concern.”

Specifically, income tax revenues were $190,992, or 15 percent, higher than expected for this time of year. In a follow-up email, Vanzant wrote that the unexpected revenue came from the top 25 income tax producers, according to figures from the Regional Income Tax Agency, or RITA.

“I would say that it is safe to attribute the increase in our income taxes to the larger businesses that are contributing more at this point in the year” than expected, -Vanzant wrote.

Property tax revenues were up $46,606, or 5.5 percent over projections. According to Vanzant, that increase could be due to the construction of new homes, renovations or improvements, or housing sale prices that were higher than previous prices

“Trying to pinpoint the roughly $46,000 is difficult given I tend to be conservative in my figures as well as the numerous factors that come into play in this 5 percent increase,” Vanzant wrote.

While general fund expenses were 7 percent higher than predicted, that amount is covered by encumbrances in the budget, Vanzant said, adding that the bulk of the supplemental expense of $28,500 was the cost of this year’s manager search.

“All general fund department budgets are on track at this point in the year,” she wrote in the Council report.

However, while general fund revenues offered good news, Vanzant sounded a note of caution regarding the Village’s enterprise funds. Revenues for the electric fund were down 2.5 percent, or $71,523; water fund revenues were down 8 percent, or $2,195; and sewer fund revenues were down 7.5 percent, or $53,734. The solid waste fund is on track for the year.

However, since a recent water rate increase only began in April, the mid-year budget did not reflect the effect of that increase on the water fund budget.

All in all, according to Vanzant, “I want to watch the enterprise funds closely.”

In other Council business:

• Council unanimously approved supplemental spending of about $300,000 in the general fund budget, which includes the manager search and projected expenses for street repairs in the Fair Acres neighborhood. The total supplemental appropriations were $572,119 out of a budget of $11,566,606.

• Village Solicitor Chris Conard  stated that, after an initial look at the recently-submitted petitions calling for a November referendum on Village funding of the CBE, the petitions appeared to be valid. Council unanimously approved a motion to give preliminary approval to the petitions, which Council will officially vote on at its Aug. 4 meeting. The petitions will then go to the Greene County Board of Election in time for the Aug. 6 deadline.

• Council heard from Village manager Patti Bates and Streets Crew Superintendent Jason Hamby regarding a proposed new building at the Sutton Farm. Bates and Hamby are proposing a 12-bay pole barn intended for storage of Village equipment, some of which currently sits out in the weather due to lack of storage space. Council unanimously authorized Bates to move forward with seeking bids for the building construction.

• Council’s next regular meeting is Monday, Aug. 4, at 7 p.m. in Council chambers. On the agenda are the current temporary moratorium on Village pesticide use and the CBE referendum petitions.

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