Tipp Council amends 2022 annual budget in effort to reduce projected deficit

By Blythe Alspaugh

[email protected]

TIPP CITY — An amendment was made to an ordinance adopting the 2022 Annual Budget at Tipp City Council’s Tuesday meeting.

The amendment to the budget, introduced by council member Ryan Liddy, removed the following items from the budget:

• $75,000 from police wages and benefits by holding off on filling the deputy chief position;

• $90,000 from Fire/EMS wages and benefits from uncovered shifts. While uncovered shifts are not ideal, the city experienced significant cost savings in 2021 due to this practice;

• $40,000 from Fire/EMS other expenses. Critical equipment needed for the department had been added to the General Fund in the event the Capital Improvement Levy was not passed. With the CIP levy passing, those items could be moved back to the CIP Fund for the immediate period;

• $24,000 from Parks Department wages and benefits; and,

• $7,500 from Parks Department wages and benefits by reducing the number of seasonal employees in the parks.

In total, the amended budget cuts approximately $236,000 off of the projected $361,257 deficit. With potential revenue increases from income tax and miscellaneous revenue and the reduction in the projected deficit, the city has a projected surplus of $243.

“It appears that (…) past council has pushed this off onto us, and this gives us a balanced budget that allows the opportunity to have taxpayers decide whether or not that this is the direction that the city needs to go with moving CIP money in November. I think it’s important to allow taxpayers to make that decision, and this plan allows that to happen,” Liddy said.

The amendment to the budget and ordinance was passed in a 5-2 vote, with council member Douglas Slagel and Mayor Mike McFarland voting against the amendment. The amended budget will appear on the agenda for the Feb. 7 council meeting, to be voted on by council for approval.

As a result of the amendment to the budget passing, the companion ordinance establishing the specific appropriations called for in the 2022 fiscal year budget was also amended to reflect the changes made in the 2022 budget. The amendment was introduced by Liddy and passed in a 6-1 vote, with McFarland voting against the amendment.

Additionally, Council President Kathryn Huffman made a motion to approve payment of expenses the city will incur in January and February, in order to allow the finance department to stay on top of payments that would be incurred before council is able to vote on passing the ordinance adopting the amended budget. The motion passed in a 4-3 vote, with Slagel, McFarland, and Robert Schwab voting against the motion.

Council also passed the following items at Monday’s meeting:

• An ordinance approving the final plan/plat for the Brooks Cottages of Tippecanoe Subdivision consisting of +/-13.997 acres, located on part of Inlot No. 3601;

• An ordinance making changes to Chapter 37 of the Codified Ordinances relating to employees who are not covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement;

• A resolution authorizing City Manager Tim Eggleston to apply for grants and enter into an agreement with the U.S. Economic Development Administration and U.S. Commerce for the extension/expansion of sanitary sewer mains within Tipp City;

• A motion to appoint Joanna Pittenger to the Miami County Council for a one year term expiring Dec. 31, 2022 was approved in a 6-1-0 vote, with Pittenger abstaining; and

• A motion to appoint Kathryn Huffman as representative to the Tipp-Monroe Community Services, Inc. Advisory Board for a one year term expiring Dec. 31, 2022 was approved in a 6-1-0 vote, with Greg Enslen abstaining.

The next regular meeting of Tipp City Council will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 7.