Denen: City is financially stable


2021 WCH budget recently presented to city council

By Jennifer Woods - jwoods@aimmediamidwest.com



Pictured left-to-right are Washington Court House City Council members, Kendra Redd-Hernandez, Dale Lynch and Jim Chrisman, at a recent council meeting.

Pictured left-to-right are Washington Court House City Council members, Kendra Redd-Hernandez, Dale Lynch and Jim Chrisman, at a recent council meeting.


Jennifer Woods | Record-Herald photo

Washington Court House City Manager Joe Denen recently presented a financially stable city budget to council members.

According to 2021 budget documents, available at www.cityofwch.com/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/121, the 2021 grand total income of all funds for the City of Washington Court House is budgeted at $44,233,414.

“That is income from all sources in the city of Washington Court House,” said Denen, who added that the city has performed particularly well considering the COVID-19 pandemic.

In comparison, grand total incomes for prior years include: 2020 ($47,734,191), 2019 ($21,975,127.22), 2018 ($21,013,766.38), and 2017 ($18,636,920.79).

The reason the grand total appears to have nearly doubled from prior years in 2021 and 2020, is due to the construction project of the Waste Water Treatment Plant. Without the project, Denen explained the numbers would look more like prior years.

As income has increased, so have total expenses. The budgeted 2021 grand total expenses is $44,877,393.27.

“Unlike the federal government, what comes in—you really are limited by what comes in the door. You are also limited by the fact that, unlike the federal government, you can’t just print money. And therefore, income and expenses have to track together,” said Denen.

The 2021 expenses vary from previous years’ total expenses: 2020 ($48,589,158) and 2019 ($22,889,697.83), according to the budget documents.

General Fund

The general fund income has increased from previous years while expenses have slightly decreased.

“Within that fund, what comes in that door has a relationship with what goes out the door,” said Denen.

One piece of information that impacts the numbers was in 2019 when a loan was made from the general fund to the water fund for the water treatment plant project.

According to the budget documents, the 2021 general fund budget is $7,674,455.

The 2021 general budget is an increase over prior years: 2020 ($7,173,055), 2019 ($7,355,284.13), 2018 ($6,481,412.48), and 2017 ($6,078,041.43).

Various sources of income go into the general fund including grants, permits, licenses, land rent, reimbursements, etc.

Expenses for the general fund are numerous with most of them appearing to go toward employees.

The total budgeted expense amount for the 2021 general fund is $7,669,867.

This number is slightly higher than the expenses of the prior two years: 2020 ($7,527,144) and 2019 ($7,586,793.85)

Water Fund

According to the budget documents, the total revenue for the water fund in 2021 is budgeted at $3,046,198.

This number is relatively close to the water fund revenue in recent years: 2020 ($3,047,198), 2019 ($3,391,533.88), 2018 ($2,900,040.67), and 2017 ($2,821,301.61).

Budgeted revenue comes from the following sources for the 2021 water fund: delinquent water charges, water charges, bulk water, set-up-fees, tap fees, impact fees, insurance and co-payments, rent, interest, non sufficient funds, main line extensions and miscellaneous funds.

The 2019 revenue included a $500,000 loan from the general fund to assist with the update of the Waste Water Treatment Plant.

Grand total budgeted expenses for the 2021 water revenue fund is $5,641,115. The water fund expenses are broken down in the budget as follows:

-$1,146,437 for personal services (salaries and wages, PERS, medical coverage, life insurance, Medicare, Workers Comp., longevity pay, uniform).

-$2,206,541 for other expenses (registration fees, housing, meals, training, utilities, communications, rents and leases, professional services, sludge hauling, maintenance, insurance, printing and reproduction, membership fees, non-sufficient funds, water refunds, postage, office supplies, operation supplies, chemicals for water treatment, vehicles, equipment, real estate taxes, city project, payment of loans, etc.).

Sewer Fund

According to the budget, the total revenue for the sewer fund in 2021 is budgeted at $26,543,554.

This number varies from prior years: 2020 ($30,537,054), 2019 ($4,512,351.87), 2018 ($4,777,628.16) and 2017 ($3,544,623.66).

Budgeted revenue comes from the following sources for the 2021 sewer fund: delinquent sewerage charges, sewerage charges, interest, miscellaneous, industrial pre-treatment permits, MIPP charges, insurance co-payments, impact fees, workers comp rebates, water intra-fund loan repayment, set-up-fees, tap-in-fees and OWDA loan.

Grand total budgeted expenses for the 2021 sewer revenue fund is $26,599,148. The sewer fund expenses are broken down in the budget documents as follows:

-$805,746 for personal services

-$24,260,800 for other expenses

-$133,651 for sewage maintenance personal services

-$374,601 for other expenses in sewage maintenance

-$233,951 for sewage billing personal services

-$73,100 for other expenses in sewage billing

-$849,950 for other expenses in administration (loans)

-$1,000 for county auditor and treasurer fees

Various other funds are portrayed in the city 2021 budget. Some of those funds includes the following:

Street construction, maintenance and repair

Revenue budgeted at $874,500 which is a slight increase from last year.

Total expenses budgeted at $1,055,811.

State Highway Improvement

Total revenue budgeted at $64,500 which is slightly less than last year.

Total expenses budgeted at $68,000.

Cemetery

Total revenue budgeted at $109,700.

Total expenses budgeted at $194,050 (for utilities, communications, professional services, maintenance, insurance, membership fees, operational supplies, grave buy-back, equipment, vehicles, etc.).

Total expenses budgeted at $319,234 for the income tax levy fund for cemetery operations.

Economic development fund

Total revenue budgeted at $83,000 (from city income tax).

Total expenses budgeted at $66,800.

Community development fund

Total expenses budgeted at $121,179.

Income Tax levy fund (street lighting)

Total expenses budgeted at $163,000.

Bridge maintenance

Total revenue budgeted at $9,500.

Total expenses budgeted at $19,500.

Firemen’s relief and pension

Total revenue budgeted at $70,000 (from general property tax, tangible personal property and state rollback).

Total expenses budgeted at $70,000.

Policemen’s relief and pension

Total revenue budgeted at $70,000 (from general property tax, tangible personal property and state rollback).

Total expenses budgeted at $70,000.

Dare Program

Total revenue budgeted at $500 from Dare Program contributions.

Total expenses budgeted at $8,000.

Eyman Park

Total revenue budgeted at $2,000 from contribution.

Total expenses budgeted at $8,800.

To find information on the rest of the budget, visit the city website at www.cityofwch.com/221/Budgets.

Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.

Pictured left-to-right are Washington Court House City Council members, Kendra Redd-Hernandez, Dale Lynch and Jim Chrisman, at a recent council meeting.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2021/03/web1_20210310_111208.jpgPictured left-to-right are Washington Court House City Council members, Kendra Redd-Hernandez, Dale Lynch and Jim Chrisman, at a recent council meeting. Jennifer Woods | Record-Herald photo
2021 WCH budget recently presented to city council

By Jennifer Woods

jwoods@aimmediamidwest.com