LIMA — As the city of Lima’s finance committee neared the end of a busy week of budget hearings, committee members heard Wednesday night from the city’s two largest departments discussing funding issues.
Police and fire department officials requested increases of approximately $750,000 over last year’s budgeted amounts.
For the Lima Police Department, leaders want to increase the number of employees on staff, which is a big part of the increase. In addition to the increase in staff, contractually mandated salary increases will make up the rest of the money requested, committee members have been told.
The Lima City Fire and EMS will add two ambulances to help meet demand after experiencing a record year for calls received in 2021. The fire department would also like to hire three more first responders. Like the police department, the fire department also has salary increases that the city must take into account due to contractual agreements.
The Finance Committee began the first of three days of hearings in the council chambers on Tuesday evening. Before looking at security services, the committee discussed the City’s general fund.
Chief Financial Officer Steve Cleaves said the city is in great shape. Lima ended with a carryover of $14.2 million and an expected revenue increase of 3.8% compared to a 2.6% increase in expenses from a year ago, he said. added.
“What this shows is that despite what you hear about the city of Lima, the tax base is growing, and that’s encouraging,” Cleaves said. “As long as revenues continue to grow faster than expenses, the city will thrive. We have managed to reduce costs by eliminating jobs without getting rid of anyone. In many cases, when an employee left, we did not replace them, and now we are able to add employees, which accounts for most of our budget increases.
The mayor’s estimated spending for 2022 is $39.9 million, up from $38.8 million last year. Meanwhile, city revenue is expected to be $35.5 million, up from $34.2 million.
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