Hudson's future plans brought up during five-year budget talks

by Laura Freeman | Reporter Published:

Hudson -- As Council members reviewed plans for the next five years, they asked the city to look into sharing expenses on major projects across departments involved, expanding utilities into neighboring communities and future plans for Seasons Road.

Council members Nov. 19 had the second of two meetings for the 2014 five-year budget. Finance Director Jeff Knoblauch will review the budget Dec. 2 and Dec. 5. Council is scheduled to vote on it Dec. 18.

Changes suggested from the first meeting included paying for Town Hall camera upgrades out of the general fund instead of Hudson Cable Television since the cameras will be used only at Town Hall for meetings. The concept of charging a department for costs or work that may originate in another department carried over to major projects.

Council member Keith Smith asked about splitting budgeting and costs of large projects such as one which included road improvements by the engineering department and traffic signal upgrades by the electrical department instead of having it completely budgeted by one department.

City Engineer Thom Sheridan said costs per department can be itemized and charged to the appropriate department because costs are line itemized during the bid process.

"We want to be consistent with funds for larger projects," Smith said.

When the city looked at utilities and raising revenue, Council member Hal DeSaussure wanted to know if the city could expand its water service to Peninsula. The city of Hudson extended a water line to Camp Manatoc on state Route 303 but had to seek approval from the city of Cleveland to do it.

The project was done in 1998 by Kenmore Construction, according to Jody Roberts, communication manager. It began at Chittenden Road and went west to Camp Manatoc which is approximately 10,000 feet.

The project was paid for by The Boy Scouts and the National Park, she added.

Then Assistant City Manager Scott Schroyer said he would look into what rules would prevent or allow expansion of services into neighboring communities.

Director of Public Works Frank Comeriato had $100,000 in the budget for the electrical line to a proposed hospital on Seasons Road.

"It's not likely there will be a hospital," said Council member Dan Williams. "When do we decide we're not going to fund it?"

Schroyer said it was all right to remove the $100,000 from the electric budget.

"We did a lot of infrastructure a couple of years ago," Schroyer said. "At the meeting [with other cities] we'll see where we're going with that project."

Mayor William Currin said the city is meeting with representatives from Stow and Cuyahoga Falls and the hospital in the first quarter of 2014 to discuss the project.

"We called for a meeting the first quarter for a definitive answer," Currin said. "There are difficulties they have to work out there. They haven't pulled the plug."

Currin said the area is still "very desirable" if the hospital project doesn't go in there.

Comeriato said there were a lot of projects listed in the 2014 electric department budget ­such as power lines on Seasons Road, River Oaks subdivision, Trails of Hudson and LED streetlight conversion on Atterbury Boulevard because the projects were rolled over from previous years when funding went toward upgrading the five substations in the city.

He said Jan. 7 he would present a 10-year plan for the electrical department, which could be used for the next five-year budget plan.

Proposed 2014 budgets

The proposed budgets for the general fund and departments in 2014. The totals could be revised for the annual budget meeting.

Departments previous balance revenue expenses final balance

General fund $10.8 million $18.9 million - $20.9 million $8.8 million

Electric $12 million $18 million - $19 million $11 million

Parks $2.3 million $1.5 million - $2.5 million $1.3 million

Fire $1 million $1.5 million - $1.6 million $927,263

Wastewater $734,839 $4 million - $4.3 million $484,792

Stormwater $425,932 $1.3 million - $1.5 million $232,849

Water $308,485 $2 million - $2.1 million $144,080

Cemeteries $172,461 $223,357 - $317,620 $78,198

Fleet $122,882 $1.42 million - $1.48 million $57,261

Street maintenance $48,458 $2.76 million - $2.75 million $56,290

EMS $54,553 $1.3 million - $1.3 million $55,345

Fire Replacement Reserve $887,492 $200,000 - $1,050,000 $37,492

Cable TV $67,600 $311,500 - $346,766 $32,334

Ellsworth Meadows $5,000 $1.35 million - $1.35 million $4,699

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Hudson Council debates increase in number of city employees

 

Email: lfreeman@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9434

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