ELYRIA — At the end of June, city Finance Director Ted Pileski issued a somewhat dire outlook on the city’s finances for 2018.
But now that the end of the year is near, Pileski said the math looks a lot better and the city won’t need to cut $2 million from the general fund as previously projected. How the city went from possibly ending the year with about $62,000 to more than $1 million can be explained in a number of ways, including the uptick in road projects crisscrossing the city in recent months.
“It’s never easy to have roads closed and detours, but you have to have some pain to get some improvements, and the additional income revenue is one of those nice byproducts of those projects,” he said.
Pileski said he will offer a look at the final amendments to the 2017 permanent budget Monday and a look at the 2018 temporary budget, which will get the city through the first three months of the year. By law, City Council has to pass a permanent budget by March 31.
By saying the city will have $1 million-plus dollars to start the year, Pileski is reversing a statement he made at the end of June that set city officials on a path of frugality.
“When we put the message out, a lot of department heads started looking at ways to save money,” Pileski said. “We saw some savings in the police overtime budget, for example. There, I budgeted $625,000 in the police general fund. To date, they have used about $484,967. Now, I still have two pay periods to post, but it is definitely running under budget.”
Revenue also picked up. In June, income tax collections were below 2017 figures.
Pileski said there has been a rebound in recent months with figures for this year closely mirroring what the city received in 2016.
“We are close to even with last year,” Pileski said. “At the end of November 2016, we had $18,511,094 that accounted for the first months of the year. We are pretty close to that point with $18,486,964 at the end of this November.”
Pileski said the many road projects in the city has helped income tax revenue rebound because regardless as to where a company is located, the physical work of employees completed in Elyria is calculated as Elyria income tax.
“It has helped and with more construction and road projects coming next year, it will only continue to help,” he said.