City of Lima looks ahead to 2016 budget

By Craig Kelly -

LIMA — With 2015 wrapping up, Lima City Council will vote on a resolution to make preliminary budget appropriations for 2016’s budget, pending final approval in January.

City Finance Director Steve Cleaves penned a letter to council members outlining how the department estimates the 2016 budget will be put together, with a modest increase to be expected thanks to a continuing economic upswing.

“It is anticipated that during 2016 and the following years the local economy will continue to recover,” he said. “In 2015 city tax receipts continued to show an improving local economy with total tax receipts increasing by 4 percent. Business profits are up over 12 percent in 2015, which is the second straight year for an over 10 percent growth in business profit tax income, which is indicative of an increasingly healthy business climate.”

Cleaves said the city’s 2016 general fund budget is $32.6 million, an increase of 3 percent over 2015. The increase is due, to a large degree, to 20 additional safety service personnel and additional manpower costs in the Public Works Department. Other new expenses include an additional $356,000 for engineering professional services related to Lima Stadium Park, Pine and Elm Street bridge design work and work on the Hall of Justice.

With an $8.5 million estimated cash carryover, Cleaves asserted that the budget is put together with great fiscal responsibility.

“The budget can be considered prudent with total available resources of $38.4 million, well above the spending estimate of $31 million,” he said. “General fund revenues going forward into 2017 and 2018 are expected to grow to a level that will equal expenditures and maintain a cash balance near 20 percent of general fund spending.”

By Craig Kelly

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.

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