Roads will be focus in city’s 2018 budget

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As the City of Marysville begins discussion about next year’s budget, a theme of improvement stands in contrast to last year’s idea of growth.
While the city is continuing development on the new Innovation Park, City Manager Terry Emery said next year’s budget focuses on bettering much of what the city already has.
The city’s general fund for next year is projected at at about $22 million, with the capital project fund at about $7.3 million and the enterprise fund at about $24.7 million. Those three funds make up the bulk of the city’s total budget.
Emery stressed that right now, the budget is preliminary, and could change in the coming weeks.
Emery said the city’s operating budget will likely be down slightly next year, with most of the major increases being linked to various capital improvement projects.
City Finance Director Justin Nahvi said the goal of improving roads is the biggest factor in 2018’s capital projects. Next year will see the start of the Route 31 widening project, the Mill Wood Boulevard extension between routes 31 and 4 and the design of a renovation of West Fifth Street, “to make it more like a city streetscape.”
Nahvi noted that the Route 31 project is being partially funded by an Ohio Department of Transportation grant.
“We have all these major capital projects next year, but a lot of these are majority financed through grants,” he said. “Those are the big components for next year.”
Ease of travel, both by pedestrians and motorists, was a factor Emery emphasized. Recent years have seen the city invest more in pedestrian and biking paths. Next year’s budget is a continuation of that.
“The access in and around our community over the next year or two is going to dramatically improve,” Emery said.
Emery admitted that the volume of construction occurring can sometime be a nuisance for residents, but in the long run, he said it’s worth it.
“The long-term benefit of these projects getting done is going to far outweigh the frustrations that people may have as it’s taking place,” he said.
The city is also continuing their water line repairs next year. Nahvi said there’s about $320,000 budgeted next year for line repairs on Eighth, Mulberry and Third streets.
Emery reiterated a point made during last year’s discussion, saying the city will continue its focus on on water line replacement moving forward.
“This is the beginning of a process,” Emery said. “We’ve been meeting with departments and finance committee … but we’re still working through it.”
On the operating side, Emery said he’s been able to work with various city departments in order to reduce the city’s overall operating budget by about $418,000.
“From my standpoint, I’m very pleased,” he said.
Last year, the city invested $2 million to begin work on the Innovation Park along Industrial Parkway. That allowed the city to begin “phase one” of infrastructure installation at the site. Nahvi said that first phase is slated to wrap up by the end of 2017.
Emery said that while he couldn’t get into specifics, the city is “very close on a couple projects” that could move into the Innovation Park. Nahvi said when land gets sold to prospective developers in that area, those funds go to pay down any debt accrued building the first phase of the park.
If the land is sold rapidly, the proceeds will go into a reserve fund to use when phase two begins.
Both Nahvi and Emery said with talks the city’s been having with developers, movement could happen in the near future.
“It’s looking really good,” Nahvi said.



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