Friday, May 25, 2018
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Pool, youth camp in Walbridge won't open this summer

With the economic downturn putting a $200,000 leak in Walbridge's annual budget, the village is not planning to open its pool this summer.

Walbridge also doesn't expect to operate Camp Loopy summer day camp for children, and those who use its baseball diamonds are being asked to help out with maintenance.

But if income tax revenues and other funding pick up as the year progresses, then Walbridge could decide to restore such services and other cuts, said Mayor Daniel Wilczynski, who is donating his $7,200 annual salary back to the village to help save money.

"We'll certainly restore these things if we can," Mayor Wilczynski said. "We're hoping the pool is one of those things."

Walbridge expects its revenues to be about $200,000 less than last year due to decreased income taxes from residents, less income tax withholding from businesses, and lowered funding from the county and state, Mayor Wilczynski said. The village's budget this year is $1.3 million, down from $1.5 million last year.

Not opening the pool will save $41,000, while not operating Camp Loopy or staffing baseball diamonds will each save $10,000.

Agreements are being worked out with baseball groups so that Walbridge will take care of the grass and other areas if those using the diamonds prepare them. Rossford High School baseball teams, for example, are using the fields for free while their facilities are being renovated, but the district is helping with maintenance, Mayor Wilczynski said.

"That kind of stuff goes a long way," he said.

Limiting police and street department overtime, meanwhile, will save $55,000 this year. Not setting up a health reimbursement account for employees will save $57,000, while not replacing a retiring employee will save $21,000, and eliminating bonuses will cut another $7,000.

All cuts, including the mayor's donation of his $7,200 annual salary, will save Walbridge $208,200 this year. Mayor Wilczynski, who has been at the village's helm for seven years, said he is lucky to be in a position financially to return his salary and previously has donated part of it to community organizations.

Walbridge officials decided to spread out cuts so that no single group would take the brunt, Mayor Wilczynski said.

"Any time you're cutting things for the public, it's tough to make those decisions," he said. "But it's something we have to do."

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