GALION- The City of Galion’s Finance Committee held their final 2022 meeting Uptowne on Dec. 21.
The group first reviewed and approved the minutes from their special Nov. 21 meeting before discussing year-end financial matters and ordinances.
Most time and discourse was occupied by Ordinance No. 2022-98, the 2023 budget.
As city expenses, particularly employee pay and benefits, eat into the general fund balance, Mayor Tom O’Leary seeks to reduce expenses to meet revenue demands.
“We have to address the fast rising costs, largely on benefits,” he said.
Auditor Brian Saterfield and Council President Eric Webber recommended the city appropriate funds to cover shortfalls in various departments, including health, police and fire. The mayor explained that a limited number of cities under 30,000 actually have health departments, with most cities the size of Galion getting services provided by their individual counties.
O’Leary recommended the council “consider transferring money out of the general fund balance to reduce the amount of… erosion, decline,” and so as not to increase water rates.
While Council Member-at-Large Kara Ault did not attend the meeting, 1st Ward Council Ken Bodkins and Council Member-at-Large Dr. Tom Fellner also listened to updates on projects around town, including some “rehabilitation versus replacement” on Hosford Road, work at the sewer plant and water plant, and making Railroad St. “compliant.”
It also was announced that some capital improvements may need to be rescheduled for 2024.