Ending jobs freeze, spreading ARPA funds part of Kettering $83.8M budget plan

Kettering is proposing to spend about $8.5 million in road resurfacing next year. The city’s 2022 budget plan includes a $1.95 million project to resurface Forrer Boulevard from Woodman Drive to Smithville Road to be paid for by American Rescue Plan Act funds. FILE

Credit: Chris Stewart

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Kettering is proposing to spend about $8.5 million in road resurfacing next year. The city’s 2022 budget plan includes a $1.95 million project to resurface Forrer Boulevard from Woodman Drive to Smithville Road to be paid for by American Rescue Plan Act funds. FILE

Credit: Chris Stewart

Credit: Chris Stewart

KETTERING — Less money for capital projects, and filling jobs left vacant this year are part of a 2022 proposed city operating budget that is about $6.7 million larger than the current one.

The $83.8 million Kettering plan for next year also includes about $13.4 million in federal rescue funds, some of which would pay for road and park projects on the city’s north end, two of the budget’s single most expensive capital proposals.

“There’s still a lot of COVID impact in this budget either from restoring previous cuts or spending federal dollars,” Kettering City Manager Mark Schwieterman said.

“We have restored all of the vacant positions, so obviously there’s additional operating money there,” he added. “We restored some of the operating budget cuts related to COVID.”

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Kettering is projected to collect about $52 million in income tax revenue next year, slightly more than is estimated for the 2021 budget, records show.

Last December the city approved a budget freezing about 15 full-time jobs and about 20 part-time ones as it anticipated less income tax revenue due to coronavirus shutdowns.

Kettering City Council is set to review next year’s plan Tuesday night and is expected to vote on it the following week.

The proposed capital improvements budget is roughly $3 million less than this year’s $18.5 million. But Schwieterman said it’s more of a calendar issue than one of priorities.

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“It isn’t a matter of us setting a number. It’s simply a matter of the timing of projects,” he said.

“So it’s not as if we cut projects one year or added projects the previous year. It’s just whatever the dollar value it takes to get the projects that were scheduled done,” the city manager added.

Kettering’s American Rescue Plan Act funds total about $13.8 million, $2.1 million of which will pay for capital equipment, such as dump trucks and fire engines, a move Schwieterman suggested to city council earlier this year.

Nearly $2 million in ARPA money will fund the resurfacing of Forrer Boulevard from Woodman Drive to Smithville Road.

“We’re using ARPA funds not only because it’s a deteriorating asphalt road that needs repaired. But with the ARPA funds we’re able to do a much more holistic project and include base repair, which will give us a longer life out of the road,” Schwieterman said.

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Meanwhile, about $1.5 million of those federal dollars will start the construction of Gentile Park, a neighborhood project Kettering has been planning for some time, Schwieterman said.

Another parks and recreation project — the Rosewood Arts Centre renovation — will not get ARPA funding, but it is budgeted for $1.36 million next year.

About 10 part-time jobs and 16 full-time ones will be restored across several departments, bringing total employment up from 545 this year to about 571 for 2022, according to the budget.

The job freezes were approved last year because at the time, the city projected losing about $4.4 million in income tax revenue for 2021 compared with the year prior.

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However, city income tax money has risen slightly each year since 2019, according to records. It was $51.5 million the year before the pandemic, $51.8 million in 2020 and is estimated at $51.9 million this year, the proposed budget states.

Departments where jobs will be filled include fire, finance, human resources, law, planning and development and streets.

Parks, recreation and cultural arts is budgeted to fill the Fraze Pavilion general manager’s position, which has been vacant since 2019.

Schwieterman said three police dispatchers were added last year, per Kettering’s contract with Miami Twp., which will reimburse the city for those jobs.

Kettering budget comparison
Category20212022
Operating costs $77.1M$83.8M
Salaries and wages$39.1M $42.1M
Staffing545571
Capital budget $18.5M $15.7M
Road resurfacing $11.7M $8.5M

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