City of Sylvania Ready for 2019
The city of Sylvania is ready for 2019 and is looking forward to the challenges of the coming year. The books have been closed for 2018 and the 2019 Budget has been approved.
The books for 2018 were closed without any additional allocations in the major funds. A final adjusting ordinance was approved by City Council on December 17 and required only balancing of funds within the 2018 Budget and no overall changes.
Sylvania City Council unanimously approved the 2019 Operating and Capital Improvement Budgets during their December 17 meeting. The city budget continues earlier spending adjustments made to overcome revenue losses from the Ohio Local Government funds, the end of the Ohio Estate Tax, lower interest rates on reserves and lower real estate tax revenues.
The Operating Budget is balanced with current revenues. City Council and the administration will be studying options to increase funding for capital improvement projects.
City operations continue to be more efficient with fewer employees than 10 years ago. Overtime has been reduced, equipment life extended and budgets lowered. City services have not been curtailed and tax rates have not been raised. Income tax revenue has grown slowly, but steadily, in the last five years as businesses continue to invest in Sylvania.
The majority of city employees are represented by one of four municipal unions. Labor contracts for the next three years were ratified in December with all but one of them. Per the terms of those contracts, city employees receive a 2.75 percent pay increase in 2019 and 2.5 percent increases in 2020 and 2021. Most non-union employee pay rates were adjusted by a recent ordinance to receive the same 2.75 percent increase in 2019.
City Council will continue their ongoing work encouraging business growth and downtown improvements. Development of the SOMO site downtown is expected to begin this summer with the construction of 206 luxury apartments. Other sites around the community are being explored for redevelopment and job creation potential.