Cuyahoga Falls -- City Council approved a $176 million-plus budget for 2013 by a 9-0 vote at a special meeting on Dec. 27. Council President Mark Ihasz (D-4) and Councilmember Terry Mader (R-8) were absent.
The overall budget figure is $176.29 million, according to the city's finance director, Joseph Brodzinski, including $32.31 million in the general fund.
"The city will be spending more than it takes in in 2013," Brodzinski told the Falls News-Press in a Dec. 26 email. "The main reason for this is the last state budget that was passed. The reductions to the Commercial Activity Tax, local government funds and estate taxes have the city budgeting over $2.1 million less in revenue in 2013 than we received in 2010. The poor housing market is also having an effect on real estate taxes as they are budgeted $633,000 less in 2013 than [what] we received in 2010. We have positioned ourselves to handle downturns in the economy, however the downturn in the economy, and the state's decision on how they would balance their budget problems -- by cutting monies to local governments -- is too much for any community to take."
On Dec. 27, Brodzinski said he anticipates the city will spend $1.9 million more than it will bring in during 2013 and added he expects the general fund balance will be $5.53 million at the end of 2013.
"I think it's time to give thanks to all of the department heads and the administrative officials who have worked so very diligently this year to make this budget the best budget it could be," said Councilmember Diana Colavecchio (D-5), chair of the finance committee.
"We are in a strong financial position but we're always looking for the extra added savings that could be felt from department to department," said Colavecchio. "I think it's impressive that [the department heads] have each looked deep inside their budgets and cut where they could cut [to] create the most efficient manner of doing business."
"I would like to extend my congratulations and appreciation for Mrs. Colavecchio's leadership in these budget proceedings," said Councilman Jerry James(D-7).
Editor's note: See the Jan. 6, 2013 edition of the Falls News for more on the budget.