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Published: Wednesday, 12/19/2012

Perrysburg council amends 2012 budget

BY REBECCA CONKLIN KLEIBOEMER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Story was revised 12/21/2012 to add a sentence about the fire department's overtime.

Perrysburg City Council on Tuesday amended its 2012 budget to include unaccounted-for appropriations, revenues, and transfers.

The final amended budget for the year totaled almost$86.4 million, an increase of more than $6.6 million over the previous $79.76 budget.

Council approved the amendments 6-0. Councilman Timothy McCarthy was absent.

An additional $682,000 was appropriated for line items such as salaries, health insurance, benefits, and planning and zoning inspections.

According to finance director David Creps - who called the additional appropriations unusual - the move was necessary because no pay increases had been budgeted, health insurance contributions were underestimated, several Public Service Department employees had retired, and more planning and zoning inspections were conducted than anticipated.

Appropriations for inspections in 2012 increased by $80,000, which was a good development sign because more inspections meant there had been more construction in the area, Mr. Creps said.

Estimated revenues were revised to reflect an addition $1.8 million for general fund revenues and $1 million for projected income tax revenues.

Also at the meeting, council president Joseph Lawless expressed concern for the amount of overtime recorded by firefighters.

"I'm still very uncomfortable with the amount of overtime in the fire department budget," he said, adding that he hoped 2013 would be the year that overtime finally goes down as the department has been promising.

Councilman John Kevern said 2012 was an unusual year with injuries and workman's compensation claims, which meant more shifts had to be covered by fewer people.

He said the Service Safety Committee, of which he is chairman, would continue to examine overtime in the fire department. The amended budget shows the department accumulated 8,124.83 hours of overtime at a cost of $346,897.92.

"We'll look at that after we review the Matrix," he said of the staffing study for safety departments.

Councilman Marie Ermie said the matter was on the Personnel Committee agenda as well.

In other matters, city council authorized the administration to pursue a federal grant for a laser fire extinguisher training system for the Perrysburg Fire Department.

The grant would reduce the city's financial contribution for the $15,400 system to $1,540.

Council passed the grant resolution 5-1, with councilman J. Todd Grayson voting no. He said the equipment did not seem necessary and that he was opposed to applying for federal grants.

Contact Rebecca Conklin Kleiboemer at 419-356-8786, rconklin@theblade.com, or on Twitter @RebeccaConklinK.



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