Tipp Council approves ordinance to aid budget restraints

By Blythe Alspaugh

[email protected]

TIPP CITY — An ordinance moving funds from the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to the general fund was approved in a 6-1 vote by Tipp City Council at Monday’s meeting.

The ordinance, which reallocates 0.2% of funds from the CIP to the general fund, was brought forward to council by means of addressing budget concerns for 2022. Additionally, the legislation states the original Capital Improvement levy approved in 1981, which allocated 0.2% of funds for capital improvement, was no longer needed for capital improvements, but is needed to provide funding for departments under the general fund such as fire and emergency services, police and public works. The need for the funds to be moved is due to an increase in staffing in order to continue to maintain services to the community.

City Manager Tim Eggleston said the capital fund is not necessarily affected, and the shift will not increase taxes on taxpayers. Additionally, he cited that with supply chain issues and cost of materials incurred to the city, there were concerns with using reserves to balance the budget.

The approved ordinance is the first step toward putting a resolution together for council to vote on.

Mayor Mike McFarland, who sponsored the ordinance, said the ordinance authorizes the city to move money that they were originally authorized to move with the 1981 levy. He also added that with the rising cost of fuel prices, among other things, this would be needed sooner rather than later.

“This money is needed for other expenses right now, especially when you look at the city’s fuel cost for city trucks, police cruisers and fire trucks. It’s anywhere between $14,000 and $20,000 a month now, and rumor has it that prices are still going to go up,” McFarland said. “We need this money in the general fund, without going back to the voters to add on top of it.”

Council President Kathryn Huffman, who voted against the motion, had previously expressed concerns over moving money from the CIP fund to the general fund, and felt that it was important to maintain the integrity of CIP funds. She also stated the city’s reserve funds were healthy and could be used to accommodate current budget restraints.

“We learned something during our budgeting process this year, which is that our reserves are much higher than what they need to be. If there’s an issue with the general fund, we do have healthy reserves right now that we can rely on. I think the timing of this is a bit premature,” Huffman said.

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

• An ordinance accepting the application for the annexation of certain territory containing +/- 2.2881 acres from Monroe Township to the City of Tipp City was unanimously approved;

• An ordinance modifying the Annual Operating Budget to appropriate additional funds for various unanticipated events occurring during the city’s 2022 fiscal year was unanimously approved;

• A resolution approving the construction agreement for the Cedar Grove Planned Residential Development Subdivision, Phase 5, was unanimously approved;

• A motion setting June 20, 2022 as the public hearing date for the rezoning of Inlot 4211—Miami County Parcel G15-021161 was unanimously approved;

• A motion setting June 20, 2022 as the public hearing date for the rezoning of Inlot 4066—Miami County Parcel G15-024250 was unanimously approved;

• A motion to create the Boards and Commissions subcommittee and to appoint Council Members Greg Enslen, Douglas Slagel and Robert Schwab was unanimously approved;

• A motion to create the Fire/EMS subcommittee and to appoint Council Members Ryan Liddy, Joanna Pittenger and Mayor McFarland was unanimously approved; and,

• A motion to create the Communications subcommittee and to appoint Council Members Enslen, Pittenger and President Huffman was unanimously approved.

A motion to create the Development subcommittee and to appoint three council members was tabled in a 4-3 vote with Slagel, Schwab and McFarland voting against tabling the motion. Huffman had suggested tabling the motion after four council members were nominated, as a means of examining the skills of each council member and determining, as a council, who would be the best fit for the subcommittee.

The next regular meeting of Tipp City Council will be held at 7:30 p.m. on June 6.