By BRIAN BOHNERT
City Auditor Steve Garner regaled members of Fostoria Finance Committee Tuesday night on how the recent recession has impacted the local economy over recent years.
During the meeting, Garner gave his line-item reports for both city revenues and expenses for 2013, comparing the numbers to 2007, the year before the Great Recession threw a viscous haymaker to municipalities across the country.
In 2007, the year prior to the recession, Garner said local taxes for the general fund were at roughly $6.9 million. In 2013, however, the numbers plummeted to approximately $4.9 million, down 28 percent.
Examining the decline in total general fund revenues over the last six years, Garner said 2007 boasted revenues of just over $8.6 million while 2013 dropped 24 percent to $6,567,579.30. The total revenue of all funds last year, he said, was down 12 percent from what it was in 2007, falling from $19.5 million to approximately $17.2 million.
General fund expenses have also decreased since 2007, falling from $8.8 million to just more than $6.4 million, with most of the expenses coming from Fostoria Police Department and Fostoria Fire Division and EMS services. Total expenses of all funds for 2013 registered at $16.4 million, compared to 2007’s $19.8 million.
Following his report, Garner said he is working on preparing an ordinance for Fostoria City Council’s support of Fostoria Economic Development Corporation. He said it is an annual ordinance his office submits to council and he looks to have that ready by the March 4 meeting.
In other business, Mayor Eric Keckler spoke briefly on the Moving Ohio Forward Grant Seneca County received through the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to demolish blighted homes in the community.
He said the city is working with local commissioners and the Seneca County Regional Planning Committee to put the project together.
The grant awarded was in the amount of $280,000 with roughly $245,000 available for housing demolition.
In a previous interview with the Review Times, Keckler said the remainder of the money will go toward covering administrative fees.
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