ontario municipal building

Ontario City Hall.

ONTARIO --  The city of Ontario is on track to have another "good year,"  according to City Council's finance committee chair.

Fourth Ward councilman Dan Zeiter said the city will exceed its 2018 expenses due primarily to costs associated with Ontario Commerce Park and the repaving of Lexington-Springmill Road. But at this point, he's not concerned.  

"So far we're trending pretty well," he said.

Council members reviewed the budget and anticipated expenses for the remainder of the year at Wednesday night's finance committee meeting.

Earlier this year, Council passed a $15.2 million budget, he explained, which already accounted for repaving Lexington-Springmill Road. At that time, Council also approved more than $100,000 to begin cleanup of the former General Motors property. Zeiter said he anticipated further expenses and wasn't alarmed at Wednesday's proposition to add more dollars to enhance the property.

Mayor Randy Hutchinson proposed $415,000 for installing a waterline, less than $30,000 to bring electricity to two buildings on the property; $5,000 for sewer engineering; less than $45,000 for sewer line maintenance; $25,000 for further engineering. These costs, Zeiter noted, are associated with projects that Council has already discussed.

Zeiter also asked Council to be aware of an unanticipated expense coming up next year. He estimates Ontario will need to contribute $435,000 to ODOT's repaving of Park Avenue. The city, he said, is to pay a percentage of the project. 

Ontario tripled its streets budget this year for its Lexington-Springmill project with the intention to save money in the long term. In February, service safety director Jeff Wilson announced the successful bidder was Kokosing Construction Company with a bid of $1.569 million.

The city made this decision knowing it could pull from its reserves. The money would be paid back from the street and road construction and maintenance budget in the next two years. If the city doesn’t need to go to that extreme, Zeiter anticipates council will contribute some money, but less than usual towards street and road repairs in its 2020 and 2021 budget. 

He feels confident that council will be able to adjust to cover the cost of Park Avenue next year. 

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