Lebanon’s 2024 city budget continues ‘historic high’ in road funding

Glosser, Kingsview, North Broadway and Mechanic Street among those set for a variety of new investments

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Lebanon City Council is expected to approve a 2024 operating budget that will fund several “significant’ roadway projects, and supports the goals council set earlier this year.

The city’s 2024 operating budget for all funds has projected revenues of $120.2 million and $114.9 million in expenditures, according to City Manager Scott Brunka. He said city staff believes the 2024 operating budget reflects a balanced General Fund and Capital Improvement Fund. Lebanon expects to end 2024 with a cash reserve of about $8.4 million, according to the budget.

The city expects to spend more than $21.7 million on capital infrastructure projects in 2024, including $10.3 million budgeted for road infrastructure work. Among the significant projects are the widening of Glosser Road with a roundabout at U.S. 42; the city’s annual paving and concrete replacement program; Phase II of the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Urban Paving Program; the replacement of the Kingsview Drive bridge; streetscape improvements along North Mechanic Street; and the construction of a multi-use path along North Broadway.

“The amount of funds being directed toward improving the city’s roads in 2023 and 2024 are at a historic high, and will be used to support the upcoming Urban Paving Program, where all of the state routes through Lebanon are planned to be resurfaced over the next three years,” according to Brunka.

Other capital improvement fund spending plans include $6.22 million for electric system improvements, $2.12 million for park projects, $1.6 million in water system improvements, and a variety of smaller storm water, sewer and general capital projects. The capital improvement fund is projected to end 2024 with a balance of $2 million.

The city also plans a $114,000 transportation/traffic safety study, fully paid by a federal grant. Overall, the city is projecting about $6.6 million in grant support in 2024.

The city’s 2024 general fund budget includes revenues of more than $18.9 million and expenditures of $18.9 million. The general fund supports key government services such as police, probation and municipal court; parks and recreation; customer service and utility billing; planning, zoning and code enforcement, among other services. About 55% of the city’s full-time positions are within the general fund, and personnel costs account for 60% of general fund expenditures, according to the budget document.

Among the highlights of the 2024 operating budget:

  • A projected 4% increase in income tax revenues;
  • Retiring the remaining $1 million in general obligation debt issued in 2016 for the construction of the Municipal Service Facility (seven years early) as well as the final debt service payment for the fire equipment note;
  • Hiring one new police officer;
  • Hiring an assistant city manager to be filled mid-year, a position that has not been filled since 2018;
  • Allocating $150,000 into the fire reserve fund to support future public safety facility needs;
  • Reallocating 2% of tax revenues to the Capital Improvement Fund;
  • Funding for a small skate park at Colonial Park West; the North Broadway multi-use path and the Bowman Trail extension; and construction of a performance stage in Bicentennial Park.

Brunka told council the city has submitted two projects for funding consideration through the state’s Capital Budget process — construction of a new Welcome Center in Colonial Park East, and construction of a multi-use path along Cincinnati Avenue, which would support the connection of Parkside and Union Village to downtown Lebanon. The next step in the process is for the Warren County review committee to consider and rank the projects.

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