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Official seal of Franklin, Ohio
June 9, 2010

There as a May Newsletter that went out last month to the residents of the City of Franklin.  You can find it on the city's website.  Here is the letter that was from City Manager Jim Lukas.

We know that recent economic conditions have been difficult for our residents; everyone’s life has been touched to varying degrees. Most of us have been challenged in ways that nobody could have predicted just a few years ago - with friends and family members also struggling, some even losing their jobs.
The City of Franklin has faced the same financial difficulties that you are feeling at home. The State has continued to cut the revenues the City receives under the Local Government Fund. In fact, we expect this funding to completely disappear within the next few years. Additionally, income tax revenues have plummeted during this recession. Last year alone, income tax revenues were 15% less, nearly $900,000, than they were in 2008.
You have had to limit spending and make very difficult choices; so have we. Our goal has been to maintain the services that you have come to expect, while doing so on a reduced budget. We have made cuts and tightened the belts over the last few years to guarantee you receive a similar level of service and safety while assuring we are within our budgeted means. We thought it would be beneficial to share with you some of the responsible steps taken to trim costs as we have worked through this difficult and challenging situation during the last few years.

Every City Department has participated in this effort, and cuts have been made across the board. We have reducing staffing positions; eliminated vacant positions (such as Stormwater Superintendent, Law Department Secretary, and Safety Department Secretary, saving over $165,000 per year); transitioned career positions to part-time (delayed appointment of full-time Finance Director, saving approximately $70,000); and restructured our employeeshealth insurance plan to reduce costs.

In 2008, the following cost-cutting measures began:

The Police Department: reduced personnel costs by approximately $175,000 annually by not filling a vacant patrol officer and dispatcher position. Staffing levels have been maintained by reassigning the school resource officer and drug task force officer to full-time patrol duty. Overtime costs were also reduced in 2009 by nearly $70,000.

The Fire Department: reduced operational costs funded by the General Fund by $250,000 per year. Personnel costs were also reduced by restructuring staff coverage to maintain on-duty staffing levels while reducing overtime costs by $35,000. The Fire Fund also now assists with funding the dispatch center, saving the General Fund $77,000 annually.

The Public Works Department has seen its recreation budget reduced by over $85,000 since 2008. Residential street paving projects have been cancelled 3 out of the last 4 years, at a savings of approximately $300,000 annually. Issue II infrastructure projects, including improvements to Second Street, improvements to the intersection of Skokiaan and Stadia, and improvements to Hemlock Street have all been cancelled, saving approximately $900,000. (The two current road projects occurring on Riley Blvd. and Franklin Trenton Road were funded with stimulus funds that do not have to be repaid).

The Franklin Municipal Court has also helped in the efforts by closing the Court at noon on Wednesdays, which has reduced overtime costs by $29,000 per year.

We remain focused on providing our residents the services they deserve while acting in a fiscally responsible manner. If you have any questions or comments about the City’s budget, please contact:

James Lukas
City Manager
937-746-9921 Ext. 1101

City of Franklin
1 Benjamin Franklin Way
Franklin, Ohio 45005
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