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Medina approves village budget with 4.2 percent increase

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 April 2015 at 12:00 am

Village plans to eliminate 3 positions through attrition

MEDINA – On Monday the Village Board presented a budget to the public that called for an 11.7 percent increase in the tax rate. The public and board members agreed that was too high.

The board met Tuesday, Wednesday and this evening to continue working on the spending plan. The final budget was approved unanimously tonight that will raise the tax rate by 4.2 percent from $16.43 to $17.13 per $1,000 of assessed property.

The rate was at $18.36 before the board decided to make more cuts and put some equipment purchases in a bond.

The board expects a new ambulance for $143,000 and a new police car for $26,000 will be purchased in the next budget year that starts June 1. The village will likely borrow funds for those vehicles rather than pay for the full costs in the 2015-16 budget.

Mayor Andrew Meier said if additional revenue streams come through, the village may be able to pay for the ambulance and police car without borrowing. That would save the village interest costs. He also doesn’t want to see Medina get in the habit of borrowing for ambulances and police vehicles.

But he doesn’t want to see the tax rate continue the upward trajectory.

“Borrowing the money doesn’t solve our problems,” Meier said. “It kicks the can down the road.”

The budget also includes three eliminated positions through attrition, positions that haven’t been identified. The board wants to discuss the issue first with employees and department heads.

The overall $5,037,089 budget increases spending by 1.6 percent or $79,575. The village will take in $2,848,608 in taxes, a 4.1 percent increase or an additional $111,006 from 2014-15.

Meier said Medina is challenged with a shrinking tax base and stagnant revenues outside of property taxes.

The board worked diligently all month to bring the tax increase down to about 4 percent.

“It’s still bad,” Meier said about the increase. “None of us should feel good about a 4 percent tax increase. We should be going in the other direction.”