Eaton council provided with financial update

Expenses up 9%, revenues down 6.2% through Sept

By Braden Moles -

EATON — Eaton Finance Director Stephanie Hurd provided a financial update for the City of Eaton during its council meeting on Monday, Oct. 19.

Compared to 2019, revenues in 2020 are down by $320,000 (6.2 percent)

“I do want to note in here though, the prior year we had grants that were $225,000,” Hurd said. “So, that makes up some of that difference, but we do have decreases in several of our revenue sources this year.”

Income tax revenue is down $160,000 (6.4 percent) and property tax receipts are down $19,000, though the estimated budget for property tax revenues was exceeded by $50,000.

“One of our more significant decreases so far this year is our court costs,” Hurd said. “Court costs are down $68,000 to the previous year. That’s just shy of 19 percent. We budgeted $450,000 for the year. Right now it’s looking that we’re going to collect closer to $390,000 for the year in court costs.”

Vice Mayor Joe Renner then asked if the courts are doing anything in response and if it will become a major problem if the trend continues.

Hurd noted that the county does reimburse the court for some of the salary of the judge, clerk, bailiff, magistrate and any acting judge, and that is not reflected in the current revenue.

“I know they did not work as [many] part timers when things were shut down,” she added. “They had at least one part timer that did not work during the shutdown. Specifically, we’d have to go to the court and see what other cost savings they’ve had. Their expenditures are pretty level if you take out the grant funds compared to the previous year.”

The building department has collected $143,000, which is a $93,000 (190 percent) increase over last year.

Ambulance removal fees have decreased $75,000 (23 percent).

“People were afraid to go to the hospital or they couldn’t the hospital in March, April, into early May,” Eaton Fire/EMS Chief Brian Smith said.

Total expenses for the year are right at $4 million, up $344,000 (nine percent).

Hurd said that $597,000 was added to the fund balance for the General and Public Safety Fund last year, some of which was unspent revenues of about $200,000.

“This year, right now it’s looking that we will be pretty close to breaking even, possibly losing about $100,000, depending on the revenues [that] come in,” she said.

As of Sept. 30, the City of Eaton has $2,013,742 of outstanding debt – $1,922,075 in water, $91,667 in sewer.

In other business

The following ordinances and resolutions were approved during Monday’s meeting:

  • Ordinance 20-05 to amend Ordinance 20-01 to adjust appropriations to reflect anticipated changes in revenue and expenditure items. The amendment is to include the Coronavirus Relief Distribution Fund.
  • Resolution 20-12 for the authorization of transferring general revenue funds to special revenue funds. This includes the Public Safety Fund ($125,000), the Recreation Fund ($16,250), the Swimming Pool Fund ($20,000) and the Fort St. Clair Fund ($20,000).
  • Resolution 20-22 to authorize City Manager Brad Collins to purchase a combination sewer cleaner for the Public Works Division for the amount of $486,072.
  • Resolution 20-24 for the City of Eaton to support the Preble County Development Partnership for the period of 2021-2025.
  • Resolution 20-23 to authorize the City Manager to enter into an annexation agreement with Washington Township for the annexation of property to the City of Eaton.

In his monthly update, Collins said that maintenance being done at Crystal Lake is now finished.

“I would like to thank County Engineer Kyle Cross for his help with the use of some of their equipment,” he said.

The lake is currently filling and the City of Eaton is working with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources to have the lake stocked with fish.

“Under budget and ahead of schedule, so very nice job,” Collins said. “We budgeted $250,000 not knowing how much we would have to hire out and equipment, things like that, but being able to organize and do the work in house and also borrow some equipment – you guys did a great job of keeping those costs down, so should be under $75,000.”

Additionally, Collins said that Whispering Christmas this year will be drive-thru, as cabins will be closed due to COVID-19 concerns.

The next Eaton City Council meeting will be held on Monday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. in the City Building.

Expenses up 9%, revenues down 6.2% through Sept

By Braden Moles

Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles

Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles