NEW DETAILS: More cuts in works for Kettering next year due to COVID-19 losses

KETTERING – The city plans to make more cuts as it estimates a $2 million general fund revenue drop this year due to the impact of COVID-19.

Kettering’s 2021 budget will be leaner than this year’s version, to which city officials made cuts earlier because of funds lost after the coronavirus hit, City Manager Mark Schwieterman said.

“Each department was tasked with the same goal to decrease their 2020 and 2021 personnel, capital outlay and operations budgets,” Schwieterman said in an email to the Dayton Daily News.

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“Personnel costs will decrease through attrition,” he added. “Different capital improvement projects slated for 2021 will be delayed or canceled.”

After reviewing next year’s proposed budgets, “leaders were asked to revisit and make further cuts,” Schwieterman said.

This year’s budget had $105.2 million in total expenditures and $52.2 million estimated revenues from city income taxes.

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Money from the city’s 2.25% income tax accounts for about 79% of the city’s general fund budget, which is about $65 million for 2020, Schwieterman has said.

In April, Kettering laid off 240 part-time employees, cutting about $40,000 and $50,000 per week in payroll costs.

More than 90% of the affected part-time jobs were in the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department.

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“Operating budgets were scaled back to meet the goal necessary to achieve a balanced budget,” Schwieterman said. “Our employees will feel the pinch of these budget modifications; but, our goal, as always is exceptional service to our residents and customers. That is never up for debate.”

Kettering is also expecting a “significant decline,” Schwieterman has said, in income tax revenue starting next year due to the loss of Synchrony Financial.

The city’s fourth largest employer — with nearly 1,900 jobs and an annual payroll of more than $100 million — announced in September it is leaving Kettering.

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“Since March, monthly financial snapshots were analyzed to determine what we were dealing with for 2020 and beyond,” Schwieterman said in the email. “We made adjustments along the way and have not stopped …”

Next year’s budget is expected to go to city council in December.

Kettering City Council has already approved measures to use nearly all of its $3.1 million in CARES Act funds to supplement payrolls for its police and fire departments.

Oakwood last week passed a similar measure, using more than $515,000 in federal aid funds for its public safety payroll.

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•$105.2M: City expenditures when this year’s budget was passed.

•$52.2M: Projected revenues from city income taxes when budget was approved.

•$2.5M: Annual projected income tax revenue city is losing from Synchrony Financial.

•$2M: Estimated loss in city general fund revenue this year due to COVID-19.

•240: Part-time city jobs laid off earlier this year.

SOURCE: city of Kettering.

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