City budget allows surplus

Huron officials expect big savings.
Andy Ouriel
Dec 26, 2013

 

Some governments need a bailout bigger than the recent Mega Millions jackpot, reaching $648 million, to offset all of their deficits and debts.

But sound fiscal planning in the city of Huron’s offices eliminates any need to rely on a monetary miracle to balance a budget.

Huron officials expect to create a $931,000 surplus, or year-over-year savings, in the city’s budget heading into 2014.

The city works with about $4 million a year in the everyday operating budget, funding services such as fire and police.

“We have a quarter of our operating expenditures in the bank,” Huron city manager Andy White said. “Under the worst financial catastrophe, if something happened, we have funds to manage the city’s budget”

Officials accomplished a major savings without laying off employees, reducing services, increasing taxes or creating additional debt in past years.

In fact, under White’s guidance, Huron has remained aggressive in starting and completing numerous community enhancement projects.

Among the major accomplishments in 2013:

• Constructing a 1.25-mile concrete path for bicyclists and walkers, running parallel to U.S. 6 and connecting Woodlands Intermediate School to Huron High School. The project totaled about $240,000.

• Widening Rye Beach Road near Sawmill Parkway to improve safety and accommodate traffic flow. The project totaled about $518,000.

• Developing a 600-foot pathway at the former ConAgra site. The project totaled about $146,000.    Most of the funding for these projects came from grants or other partnerships city officials brokered with other governments, sparing Huron’s coffers from any major blows.

All enhancements circle back to Huron’s decade-long master plan — a $9 million undertaking aimed at luring businesses and residents to the city by linking several core city landmarks, parks and neighborhoods while highlighting waterfront features.

“It will allow us to plan for future needs for the city if we keep moving forward,” Huron councilman Brad Hartung said.

Huron’s 2014 budget piggybacks off various upgrades implemented this year, including continued development at the former ConAgra site.

“We’re containing costs while at the same time directing considerable effort and a very serious approach at infrastructure planning along with community and economic development” White said.

Huron, however, does face some challenges. The city’s total debt is roughly $3.2 million, mostly deriving from water and utility operations.

If the city can avoid creating any new debt, area taxpayers could pay off all existing obligations in about 10 years.

Comments

donutshopguy

Question : What does Huron have that Sandusky doesn't ?

Answer: A city manager with a pulse.

Julie R.

I don't agree. I think the problem in Sandusky is --- too many chiefs and not enough Indians. I think the "too many chiefs" that want to run the city of Sandusky are certain lawyers ~ including certain ones in the black robes ~ and their buddy county public officials. That was obvious in the expensive Nuesse fiasco alone. Who really wanted to get rid of Nuesse? Wasn't it the county prosecutor Kevin Baxter and his buddy county sheriff Terry Lyons that whined the loudest because she wasn't keeping them informed of secret drug raids? Who brought in Erie County's super favorite Lorain County fix-it-judge Joseph Cirigliano? Sandusky's law director Don Iscman might have "recommended" him but be rest assured it wasn't Iscman.

donutshopguy

So Julie, you are comfortable with the way the city has been run by Ms. Ard ?

Julie R.

Are you comfortable with the way the county has been run by Baxter & Co.?