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2018 Operational Budget demonstrates year's priorities
The 2018 Operational Budget, presented Jan. 16th at a public work session of the Board of Trustees, reflects West Chester’s ongoing commitment to fiscal responsibility and sets as a priority West Chester’s position as a leading edge community and one of “America’s Best Places to Live.”
The operational budget focuses on the community’s primary funds – General Fund, Police Fund, Fire and EMS Funds, and Roads and Maintenance Funds.
Interim Township Administrator Larry Fronk presented an operational budget of approximately $45.3 million in expenditures, a 1.2% increase from 2017 budgeted expenses. The operational budget is balanced, and gives continued significance to carryovers in the primary funds to mitigate risk associated with the potential for future economic downturns and to support investment in the most critical needs of the community.
Thanks to the community’s new Checkbook tool, powered by OpenGov, residents will be able to track how taxpayer money is spent throughout the year as compared to budget. The community’s checkbook is available from the homepage of www.WestCheserOH.org.
In 2018, more than $31.5 million will be invested in police and fire services for the community. This accounts for nearly 70% of the operational budget. Taxpayers’ money invested in police and fire services helps to prevent and reduce crime, prevent and fight fires, and provide lifesaving medical care. These exceptional services, in turn, help to protect property values, reduce the burden on taxpayers through reduced insurance rates, and make West Chester an attractive place to invest as a business.
- In 2018, West Chester will consider purchase of new public safety technology modules that will support everything from CAD to managing in-field reporting and records management. The system is expected to cost about $1.1 million.
- The West Chester Fire Department will consider decreasing its part-time complement of firefighters from 73 to 47 and then increasing its full-time, career complement by six. This actually offers opportunities for savings for the department and won’t require termination of any current employees.
Nearly $23.7 million in infrastructure improvements are also planned for 2018 funded from Township Roads Funds, as well as TIF districts. TIF funds are not, however, considered as part of the township’s operational budget. Identified as part of the operational budget are $2.7 million in infrastructure improvements which will include:
- Twelve sections of culvert pipe replacement and/or repair.
- About 12,000 lineal feet of curb replacement.
- Approximately nine miles of road scheduled for new asphalt.
- An additional 2.5 miles of roads to be slurry sealed.
West Chester’s Operational Budget, presented each January, does not represent individual expenditures, but rather is a detailed illustration of expected expenditures assigned to specific budget priorities which are set by the Board of Trustees. The merits of expenditures greater than $2,500 are evaluated and approved separately by the Board of Trustees throughout the year.