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Copley trustees begin 2013 budget process

11/22/2012 - West Side Leader
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By Pam Lifke

The Copley Township Board of Trustees is approaching the 2013 budget with caution.

Trustees had preliminary discussion about capital expenditures at the Nov. 15 meeting, but put off committing to any 2013 purchases until they have a clearer picture of tax revenues.

Local governments will see a further reduction in state support next year. State support to local government is scheduled to go from a 25 percent reduction to a 50 percent reduction, and local governments will face loss of inheritance taxes, trustees said.

Trustees said they have always budgeted conservatively and have never included inheritance taxes in the township operating budget.

Trustee Scott Dressler said he also wanted to see what kind of support the township would receive in 2013 from the county, noting it was possible the county would decline to fund services the township would have to pick up.

“This might be a time to look at some of the things we do,” said Fiscal Officer Janice Marshall.

Marshall said department heads should take “a deeper look” at their budgets and evaluate the merit of each item.

Trustees all agreed the township would have to make a decision on building a new police station. The township has studied the department’s needs and has had preliminary plans drawn up by a Columbus architectural firm.

“We do need to address it,” said Trustee Helen Humphrys.

Trustees said they will meet again with the architect to refine plans for the new police department and get a firm idea of the cost. Funding options included a low-interest government loan or issuing bonds, trustees said.

Other capital projects proposed for 2013 include the scheduled replacement of three marked and two unmarked police cruisers, replacement of a fire department pickup truck, upgrading police firearms and related items, repairs to a utility building and repairs to the floor of Fire Station No. 1.

Trustees also approved the purchase of a replacement vehicle for use by the zoning department before the end of 2012. The current zoning vehicle, a 12-year-old Jeep that Service Director Mark Mitchell said was purchased used, has had mechanical problems that render it unsafe, said Humphrys. Trustees authorized up to $25,000 for the purchase of a Ford Escape.

Trustees said township employees again will face no salary increases.

The next Copley Board of Trustees meeting will take place Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. in the Copley Township offices, 1540 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road. The board has canceled its Nov. 28 meeting.

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