Contributing Writer
The 2023 budget for the City of North Royalton was unanimously adopted by City Council at their final meeting in December. Over the past several years, the budget discussions with city administrators and Council began in the fall of the previous year. Last year, however, the timeline shifted to the beginning of 2020 in order to allow for the new Mayor and Council to have input. This year, the timeline was changed back to the fall. According to Ohio law, Council must adopt its yearly budget by March 31 of that year.
The measure was initially introduced in November and a special Finance Committee meeting took place on December 6 to discuss the budget. Council was presented with the budget, prepared by the Mayor and North Royalton Finance Director, Jenny Esarey after meetings with the various city department heads took place for input.
Overall, the City’s budget is broken down into the General Fund and other funds, which are less flexible due to requirements of the Ohio Revised Code. Esarey explained that there are rules for certain revenues and expenditures, that are required by the state law. Some monies received must be used for specific authorized expenditure. The general fund is a more fluid fund, where money can be transferred within it. For example, if a large unexpected expense comes up in one department that cannot be paid for within that department, the city has the ability to move funds from other departments to cover the cost.
The total proposed 2023 budget totals $53,006,459, and is broken down to personal service; contractual service; supply and materials; capital outlay; debt service; and other expenditures. The total 2023 revenues projected at $50,901,540. The carry over from 2022 to 2023 was $27,430,128.04, compared to $23,963,772.52. in 2022. Last year, the proposed budget for 2022 was $50,169,4440. The actual budget for 2022 was $56,880,335.74, but the total amount spent, with encumbrances, was $51,361,647.35.
The total 2023 General Fund budget is $21,438,416, and is broken down as follows: Police Department, $5,874,221; Animal Control, $194,798; Fire Department, $1,102.555; Police and Fire Communications, $1,317,413; Street Lighting, $115,500; Cemetery Department, $262,900; Parks and Recreation, $1,031,040; Planning Commission, $109,175; Board of Zoning, $7,635; Building Department, $981,620; Community Development, $280,949; Rubbish Collection: $1,850,000; Service Building and Grounds, $156,100; Mayor’s Office, $325,330; Finance Department, $641,685; Legal Administration, $614,910; Engineering Department, $248,740; Legislative, $458,285; Mayor’s Court, $277,505; Civil Service, $27,540; City Hall Building, $548,715; and Other General Government, $5,011,800.
A 3% wage increase was included, which has a compound effect to things, such as medicare costs. There was a higher cost in dispatch services and health care. “Like everything else, the costs have gone up,” said Esarey. “Everybody’s charging more.”