Lima talks spending plan for 2023

LIMA — The City of Lima is ringing in the new year with many priorities including budgeting. The finance committee held its annual budget review for the city on Tuesday evening. The City of Lima’s Finance Director Steven Cleaves said the City is doing well.

“Our cash carry-over from 2022 is over $14 million, which is 35% of our estimated spending for 2023,” said Cleaves. “The best practice is to have at least 25% so we beat that by about another third. There is sufficient funding to ensure that the city will remain well-funded for the next 3 to 5 years. It could withstand an economic slowdown. The budget financials of the city are stable and solid.”

The finance committee heard from the mayor’s office, the utility department, Lima Municipal Court, the law director, council clerk and small business department to discuss each department’s budget needs for 2023.

“In 2022 the total budget by the end of the year was $49 million,” added Cleaves. “We had a lot of capital that we purchased. A lot of it has not come in yet because of the supply situation. We have a large number of invoices that will be paid once it comes in. That is why it was $49 million because of the extra spending. This year our budget is about $45 million. It came down but with the stimulus money that is coming we may end up spending a lot more than that but that will be largely funded by the money that will come from the stimulus package (federal funding).”

The use of the federal funding will go toward the Better Together plan that was created by the City of Lima with the help of residents. Lima was awarded more than $26 million to help the city move forward in recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. Chief of Staff Shane Coleman said the Better Together plan was a part of the overall vision for the City of Lima.

“We have set up a strategic framework based on upon the mayor’s vision, Vision 2040 and the Better Together plan,” said Coleman. “This will ensure better government, housing, thriving neighborhoods, safer streets and a growing economy.”

Cleaves said there will be an increase to the fire and police department’s budgets due to hiring more staff in those departments.

Another public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Council Chambers.

Reach Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.