Coronavirus in Ohio: Ontario predicts $650,000 to $1 million drop in revenue
sg飞艇appONTARIO - As with other municipalities in Ohio, Richland County's third-largest city is projecting a loss in revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.
sg飞艇appBut the true size and scope of that loss remains unclear.
"It's probably too early to tell," said Jim Hairston, treasurer. "I don't have answers, I wish I had some answers. If we sit down a month from now, it's going to be different."
Hairston predicts reductions in withholding and occupancy taxes.
Newly appointed Finance Committee Chair David Rehfeldt, who assumed the position after longtime councilman Dan Zeiter diedsg飞艇app, said Wednesday that anywhere from $650,000 to $1 million in revenue could be lost.
"We're not in panic mode," he stressed. "I'm different than most finance guys. When things are tough, I believe sometimes you have to grow out of them. You don't have to cut the heck out of everything because it's really tough to survive when you're trying to come out of it."
"The problem I always have: if it's in the budget, let's spend it. That's not the mode we're in right now. We're in the 'let's make sure it makes sense' mode."
sg飞艇appThe majority of Ontario's revenue comes from income taxes, real-estate settlements, water and sewer utilities, and the city receives about $500,000 to $600,000 each year from the state.
Mayor Randy Hutchinson said during Wednesday's finance committee meeting that the city has put a freeze on some projects and purchases.
During the meeting, Hutchison told council that he had received an email that day from Ontario Local Schools, requesting the city reimburse the district $18,000 for the school resource officer (SRO) position since school buildings have been closed.
The city and the district jointly pay for the position, which is currently vacant after Elijah Finley was terminated last month.
While At-Large Councilman Eddie Gallo expressed strong opposition to reimbursing the district, a meeting will likely be scheduled between council and the Ontario Local Board of Education to discuss the matter further.
sg飞艇appThe position has been a point of contention in the past. When the school district had a levy on the ballot last year, Superintendent Lisa Carmichael circulated a proposed reduction plan which showed that among other things, the SRO post would be cut if the levy failed.
She urged council at the time to pass a resolution of supportsg飞艇app, which they declined to do. They explained their decision by saying that if council passed a resolution for one group or cause, then they would be effectively obligated to pass a resolution for every group or cause that came before council.
Before the levy ultimately passed, council unanimously passed an ordinance which promised that if they levy had failed or the school district did not receive any state money, the city would fully-fund the SRO position.